Stranded Bahrainis in India flown home
TDT | Manama
A total of 125 Bahraini nationals stranded in India due to the nation-wide lockdown there were finally flown home yesterday. Gulf Air flight number GF7753 carrying citizens who were residing in different parts of India touched down at Bahrain International Airport last night shortly after 9pm.
The Bahrainis were flown home after being brought together at Pune International Airport, from where they returned on a special chartered flight via Chennai. They were scheduled to arrive at 9.05pm but were delayed. Their repatriation is a part of national efforts to bring home Bahraini citizens abroad in light of the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
According to reports, chargé d’affaires at the Bahrain Embassy in New Delhi Ali Abdulla Al Noaimi said that Bahrain supports India’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. “We had a list of all the Bahraini citizens who were staying in various parts of the country; some were tourists, some seeking medical services, and most of the nationals were students,” Al Noaimi was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times. Al Noaimi also revealed that one Bahraini national from Pune developed a high fever and was advised to rest and could not board the flight. It is understood that he was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Bahrain Consul General in Mumbai Ali Al Balooshi was in Pune to see to the safe travel of the Bahraini nationals. According to the report, the Bahrainis not located in Pune had arrived there three days prior and were staying at Hotel Taj Blue Diamond, where they were waiting for yesterday’s flight. Meanwhile, Pune airport director Kuldeep Singh noted that all precautionary arrangements had been made to ensure the safe travel of the Bahraini passengers.
“All arrangements were made for thermal screening at departure entry: Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) [wore] protective gear; immigration, customs, tea-coffee snacks counter, sanitisation machine at entry gate; frequent cleaning/ sanitisation of the washrooms; markings for physical separation on the floor and on chairs. “We opened only limited areas for the passengers’ movement to ensure focused cleaning.”