Panaji, May 20 (IANS) More than 160 seafarers from Italy landed at Goas Dabolim airport by a special chartered plane on Wednesday and were being examined for COVID-19, an official said.
"168 seafarers have arrived at the Goa airport. Another batch of seafarers is expected to arrive in Goa later today," an Airports Authority of India official said.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that in all 413 seafarers would be flown in from Italy in three flights by Thursday.
"In all 413 passengers are expected in three flights from Italy. After their arrival, their throat swabs will be taken for examination and the passengers would be sent for institutional quarantine," Sawant said.
"I am happy to say that all arrangements have been made for the arrival of seafarers in the state of Goa. Our team will ensure that all tests are conducted rapidly," Health Minister Vishwajit Rane also said, after the arrival of the seafarers, most of whom were working with the Italy-based international cruiseliner Costa Cruises.
After the preliminary round of testing, the seafarers will be later shifted to a paid quarantine facility, where they would be kept in isolation for 14 days, followed by a quarantine spell of similar period at their respective homes.
On May 16, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had given clearance for the repatriation of more than 400 Indian seafarers working for the Italian cruise firm Costa Cruises to Goa on May 20.