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We're Back From Hell, Say Indian Students After Returning From China Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Image for representation. (ANI)

Image for representation. (ANI)

A special Air India Boeing 747 brought back Indians, including students from Wuhan University, stranded in China's Wuhan to Delhi on Saturday morning

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Neethu Reghukumar

Thiruvananthapuram: The parents of 324 students, who were brought back to India from China on Saturday in a special flight after the coronavirus outbreak, heaved a sigh of relief and thanked the government for quick action.

A special Air India Boeing 747 brought back Indians, including students from Wuhan University, stranded in China's Wuhan to Delhi on Saturday morning. All of them have been quarantined in a specially prepared facility in Manesar near Delhi and will be observed for signs of infection for two weeks by a team of special doctors.

Vinayachandran, one of the several Wuhan University students who made it to Delhi on Saturday, said, "It's like we are back from hell. Can't explain how I feel. When we were hearing about all these reports in China, we did not think we would come back like this. We were hearing about being isolated in China. After the screening was over and we got our boarding pass, we were so happy and relieved."

The first thing Vinayachandran did on reaching Delhi was informing his parents that he will not be able see them for the next 28 days as he wants to take proper precautions. “I am a medical student. I know the risks...so have told my parents that I will not see them for the next 28 days. I told them that even after 14 days of isolation when I am sent back home, I need a separate room."

The parents told CNN-News18 they had been spending sleepless nights thinking about the health and safety of their children. S Vijayakumar, whose daughter Akhila Jasmine is a fourth year student at Wuhan University, said his entire family had been anxious ever since the news of deadly outbreak surfaced a few days ago.

"It was only yesterday after my daughter boarded the flight that we slept properly. Now we are relieved they have reached India. We know they will be taken care of. They are the children of Indian government and we believe they will be taken good care of,” Vijayakumar told said, thanking the Indian government, state government and former Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy for the help.

But bringing them back wasn’t a smooth ride due to strict medical screening at the Wuhan airport for coronavirus. The immigration and Chinese authorities did not allow six Indians on board after they reported high temperatures during screening.

"Even though children were informed they will be taken back to India, their medical screening was conducted at the Wuhan airport,” Vijayakumar said, who is now eagerly waiting to see his daughter after the 14 days of quarantine.

“The children were told that if they fail the medical screening, they will have to stay back in China. We couldn't even imagine of such a situation. We were very worried and under stress," he added.


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