37 stranded Assamese return from Russia on Vande Bharat Mission flight
37 Assam citizens stranded in Russia touched down at the LGBI airport in Guwahati city on a Vande Bharat Mission flight
Guwahati: Amid the incoming rush of Assam citizens who have been stranded elsewhere amid the lockdown, 37 passengers arrived from Russia here at Borjhar around 1:30 am in the morning as a part of the Union Government's ambitious Vande Bharat Mission.
After landing at the Lokpriya Gopinath Bordolai International (LGBI) airport, the returnees were made to register and were taken to quarantine centres as mandated by the state Health Department. Meanwhile, their swab samples have also been taken and the Covid-19 test results are awaited.
It may be recalled that on May 26, Assam Chief Secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna had announced that four repatriation flights would land in Guwahati between May 27 to June 5. These international flights are from Ukraine, Moscow in Russia, Philippines, and Kuwait.
The first of these flights -- one from Kuwait -- landed in Guwahati on May 29 carrying 155 passengers who were stuck after the outbreak of the contagion. However, somewhat alarmingly, 30 of the Jazeera Airlines returnees tested for the pathogen and were among the 124 new Covid-19 cases reported from the state on Monday.
After the detection of these cases, there have been apprehensions in Assam that the return of more international passengers, especially from badly-affected countries like Russia (over 4 lakh cases registered so far) could cause a further increase in Covid-19 cases.
Responding to such apprehensions yesterday, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said, "In the coming one-two days, we could get a few more cases of the virus. Three special trains headed from Mumbai, Darul Ulum, and Nanda Dwar brought Assam citizens to the areas of Hojai and Barak Valley and those samples are awaited. But otherwise, the detections of new patients and released patients have almost reached a stage of balance. Yesterday, 129 patients were detected, but 99 patients were also released. Additionally, the death rate in Assam is less than .3%"
Assam has so far reported 1,561 positive cases of the Covid, out of which 1,217 cases are active. While 337 persons have been discharged, 3 have been migrated and 4 died due to complications.
Meanwhile, India's tally of coronavirus cases has crossed two lakh after a record number of 8,909 people tested positive for the deadly virus infection in the last 24 hours. The total cases in the country stood at 2,07,615, including 5,815 deaths.