Chinese confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 on first chartered flight from India

By Liu Caiyu Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/11 12:32:21

Photo: Courtesy of Yu Libiao

 One Chinese national was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 in Shanghai after arriving on a chartered flight from India on Tuesday, health authorities reported Thursday. 

The patient was confirmed to be infected during quarantine after reaching Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the Shanghai health commission reported. 

The patient had travelled to India and returned on the first chartered flight from Delhi along with 247 other people, sources told the Global Times. 

The chartered flight comes as India reports a spike in infections across the country. On Wednesday the country witnessed more than 9,900 cases for the third consecutive day with 9,985 new cases, according to data from the Indian Health Ministry. 

India has reported a total of 276,583 confirmed cases and 7,745 deaths, according to the latest figures published by Johns Hopkins University. 

The Chinese Embassy in India plans to arrange five chartered flights to take stranded Chinese nationals to return home, the Global Times has learnt. 

In addition to the first flight from Delhi to Shanghai on Tuesday, two flights departed from Delhi to Guangzhou and from Kolkata to Jinan on Wednesday. 

Two more flights will leave from Delhi to Zhengzhou on Thursday and Mumbai to Chongqing on Friday.

India has seen an exponential rise in confirmed cases and could become the next epicenter of the global epidemic, Zhang Wenhong, a Shanghai-based infectious disease expert, told Chinese media. 

The charted flights would get about 1,000 people back home but there are roughly 3,000 Chinese stranded in India, sources said. The Chinese embassy and local Chinese nationals are always ready to leave the hard-won opportunity of returning home to those who need it more, like the pregnant, or people who have emergency at home.

As the epidemic continues to ravage the world's second most populous country, WHO officials have said that whether humankind can achieve a decisive victory over the virus largely depends on how India copes with it. 

The Chinese Embassy in India planned to bring Chinese nationals back home after India announced lockdown measures on March 22, but were unsuccessful due to local traffic restrictions, some Chinese nationals in India told the Global Times. 

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