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Afghan Returnees to be Vaccinated Against Polio for Free in India, Says Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya

India on Sunday evacuated 168 people including 107 Indians from Kabul in a military transport aircraft of the IAF. (File photo: PTI)

India on Sunday evacuated 168 people including 107 Indians from Kabul in a military transport aircraft of the IAF. (File photo: PTI)

India on Sunday evacuated 168 people including 107 Indians from Kabul in a military transport aircraft of the IAF.

Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Sunday announced vaccinating Afghanistan returnees against polio for free as a preventive measure against the wild polio virus. The minister also shared a photo where returnees could be seen getting jabs at the Delhi international airport.

“We have decided to vaccinate Afghanistan returnees with free Polio Vaccine - OPV & fIPV, as a preventive measure against Wild Polio Virus. Congratulations to the Health Team for their efforts to ensure public health Take a look at the vaccine drive at Delhi International Airport," Mandaviya said in a tweet. Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only two countries in the world where polio is still endemic.

India on Sunday evacuated 168 people including 107 Indians from Kabul in a military transport aircraft of the IAF amid the deteriorating security situation in the Afghan capital city following its takeover by the Taliban a week back. The country had earlier evacuated 200 people including the Indian envoy and other staffers of its embassy in Kabul in two C-17 heavy-lift transport aircraft of the IAF after the Taliban seized control of Kabul.

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The first evacuation flight brought back over 40 people, mostly staffers at the Indian embassy, on Monday. The second C-17 aircraft evacuated around 150 people including Indian diplomats, officials, security personnel and some stranded Indians from Kabul on Tuesday.

The Taliban swept across Afghanistan this month, seizing control of almost all key towns and cities including Kabul in the backdrop of the withdrawal of the US forces.

Around 300 Indian nationals are expected to be brought back home from Afghanistan on Sunday as part of India’s evacuation mission in view of the deteriorating security situation in Afghan capital Kabul, people familiar with the development said.

Eighty-seven Indians were on Saturday taken to Tajikistan capital Dushanbe from Kabul on board a military transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force and the group is being brought back to Delhi in a special Air India flight from the central Asian city early on Sunday.

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first published:August 22, 2021, 12:15 IST