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Two of 146 evacuees from Kabul who landed in Delhi test positive for Covid-19

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Two people who landed in Delhi on Monday after being evacuated from Afghanistan’s capital Kabul were positive for coronavirus disease (Covid-19), news agency ANI reported.

Sub-divisional magistrate Rajendra Kumar told the news agency that the two passengers have been sent to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan (LNJP) Hospital.

The infected passengers are among the second batch of 146 Indian nationals who landed in Delhi from Qatar’s capital Doha on Monday. They were evacuated to the middle-eastern country from the war-torn Kabul earlier.

“Bringing Indians back from Afghanistan. [The] 2nd batch of 146 Indian nationals, who were evacuated from Afghanistan to Doha, being repatriated today to India. Thank everyone involved for their support,” the Embassy of India in Qatar tweeted on Sunday.

Nearly 400 people, including two Afghan lawmakers and two Nepalese nationals were brought to India in three independent flights on Sunday as part of the country’s mission to evacuate its citizens as well as Afghan partners from Kabul.

A total of 168 passengers, including more than 100 Indians and 23 Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, were evacuated from Kabul to Hindon airbase near Delhi in a C-17 Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft. Separately, 87 Indian citizens and two Nepalese nationals were back to Delhi from Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe in a special Air India flight, news agency PTI reported.

Furthermore, as many as 135 Indians, who were flown out of Kabul to Doha a few days ago on United States and NATO-operated aircraft, were also repatriated to Delhi on Sunday.

Among the 168 passengers that the IAF aircraft brought back were Afghan lawmakers Narendra Singh Khalsa and Anarkali Honaryar and their families.

An evacuee from Afghanistan, who identified themselves as T Sarkar, and was among the 146 passengers who landed in Delhi on Monday, said that a few days before August 14 – the day before the Taliban took over Kabul — the Indian Embassy told them to “stay prepared to leave Afghanistan at any time.”

“There is an atmosphere of fear in Kabul. On August 14, we were evacuated to Qatar from Kabul,” Sarkar was quoted as saying by ANI.

Another evacuee, Sunil, said that an US Embassy flight flew them to Qatar from Kabul, following which the Indian Embassy flight went there to bring them back home.

The US troops are currently in control of the Kabul airport, while the Taliban have captured the checkpoints leading up to the venue. Over the last few days, several reports have emerged regarding people dying in and around the airport as Afghans make frantic attempts to leave their homeland. In a statement, the British defence ministry said that at least seven Afghan nationals lost their lives in the crowds as tens of thousands tried to leave the country.

However, the Taliban put the blame for the evacuation mayhem at the airport on the US troops and claimed that there is “peace and calm” everywhere else in Afghanistan – despite reports of violence already emerging from various regions.

Two of 146 evacuees from Kabul who landed in Delhi test positive for Covid-19


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