Air India has been running operations to evacuate Indian citizens stuck in foreign countries struck gravely by the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. However, members of the flight crew are facing ostracization in their neighbourhood, Air India has said on social media. The airline has requested people to ensure that “our crew are treated with the courtesy, respect and freedom that every citizen of this country deserves especially in light of the fact of their having undertaken flight duties to affected countries to bring back Indian citizens.
Air India said in its press release, “It is alarming to note that in many localities, vigilante Resident Welfare Associations and neighbours have started ostracizing the crew, obstructing them from performing their duty or even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty. These vigilantes have conveniently forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child and near and dear one have been brought home safe and secure from affected countries, thanks to the heroic efforts of these Air India crew.”
Air India also said that every precaution was taken to ensure the safety of its screw during the flights abroad that were made. Sanitizers, gloves and masks in ample amounts were also provided to the crew during the flights. “Crew members who are landing into India from affected cities are sent on home quarantine and also to designated hospitals for check-up as part of the protocol,” the press release said.
The Indian Government, and numerous state governments, has stepped up efforts to combat the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic in the meantime. Interstate passenger transport has been suspended, metro railway services have been stopped until the 31st of March as well. Numerous districts across the country have been put on lockdown. Only essential services will continue to operate during the lockdown.