New Delhi: 16 out of 78 Afghanistan evacuees that landed in India yesterday have tested Covid positive, because of which all 78 have been quarantined as a measure of safety. All 16 covid-positive patients are said to be asymptomatic patients.
Among those 16 infected patients, three granthis carried the copies of the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikh Holy Scriptures, back to India from Kabul. Union Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri, tweeted a video of him carrying one of the copies on his head, which he received at the Delhi airport on Tuesday morning.
The catastrophic situation in Afghanistan has led India a step forward to evacuate its citizens and the desperate Afghan populace after the Taliban’s stunning sweep to power last week.
Union Minister Hardeep Puri said that a total of 626 people, including 228 Indian citizens, have been evacuated from Afghanistan till now of which 77 were Afghan Sikhs among the evacuees. “These evacuated people do not include those working in the Indian Embassy,” Mr. Puri added.
Indian Government had earlier announced that it would facilitate repatriation to India of those who wish to leave Afghanistan. The announcement also added that the Hindus and Sikhs from the country would be given priority. The complex evacuation mission has been named “Operation Devi Shakti”. A total of 40 Indians were evacuated from Kabul and brought to Delhi on August 16, a day after the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan.
Thousands of Afghans are still waiting outside the Kabul airport for over a week, in a desperate motive to flee the country.