Shame on them: Some residents are actually trying to ostracise quarantined Air India heroes who brought back Indians
Photo: Air India/Twitter

Even as the nation grapples with the novel coronavirus outbreak and the government urges people to stay home and socially distance themselves to avoid the spread of the virus, not everyone has the same luxury.

Even as doctors, nurses and hospital officials man the frontlines when it comes to combating the virus, aviation officials have been involved in rescuing stranded Indians from various parts of the country.

On Sunday morning for example, an Air India flight returned with 263 Indians who had been stranded in coronavirus-hit Italian's capital, Rome.

Later, the crew members were asked to home quarantine themselves as er the organisation's usual policy.

This is not the first time Air India has rescued passengers from across the globe since the novel coronavirus pandemic struck, be it Japan, Milan or even the virus' epicenter, Wuhan.

But even as these officials continue to work in a bid to keep Indians safe, not everyone is sympathetic or understanding.

On Sunday, Air India took to Twitter to urge people to not ostracise or heckle home quarantined flight attendants.

"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," the company wrote in a press release.

The note also detailed the quarantine procedure followed -- from ensuring that there was enough hand sanitizers, gloves and masks available for the crew and passengers to ensuring that there are hazmat suits on board, in case the crew has to interact with any suspected patient.

"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 company said.

Our crew, they said, had been discharging their duties in as selfless a way as doctors, nurses, paramedics and other agencies who are out on the field for fellow Indians.

The company also criticised these vigilantes for "conveniently forgetting" the countless family members that the "heroic" efforts of Air India had returned home from virus-affected countries.

"We would like to appeal to all concerned, particularly the law enforcement agencies, to ensure that our crew are treated with the courtesy, respect and freedom that every citizen of this country deserves especially," the release added.

Netizens were not happy with the issue. Many drew a parallel between the thunderous applause that had run out on the same evening to appreciate essential service personnel.

"All that clanging and clapping doens't mean a thing if we as a society start ostracising & attacking our heros , especially @airindiain crew," wrote one Twitter user.

Take a look at some of the other comments:

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