In what could be the commencement of one of the biggest air evacuation missions by any country, the first Air India Express flight IX 452 carrying 177 passengers from Abu Dhabi landed in Kochi.
The flight took off for Abu Dhabi from here earlier in the day to bring back Indians stranded in the Gulf countries due to the Covid-19 induced lockdown.
The Kochi airport has been under tight security since the morning and a mock drill was conducted in the afternoon to ensure that everything was in place as per the health protocols keeping in view the Covid-19 situation.
As many as 2,000 plastic chairs have been put up at the airport premises and more than a dozen counters have been opened.
All incoming baggage will be disinfected, before handing them over to the people.
Among those who have landed are 49 pregnant ladies and four kids. According to the protocol, all pregnant ladies and kids will be sent to their homes where they will be quarantined for 14 days. Those with underlying health issues will be moved to the hospitals for further treatment.
The remaining will be moved to the corona care centres in their respective districts while anyone showing any Covid like symptoms would be taken to dedicated coronavirus hospitals here.