National carrier, Air India, responded to Residential Welfare Associations (RWAs) who were ostracising members of its crew upon their return to their homes, for travelling abroad in the line of duty, amidst growing panic due to the spread of coronavirus.
Air India has been sending out multiple flights to bring back stranded Indian nationals from countries, such as Iran, Japan, Milan, Rome and even from the epicentre of the outbreak, China’s Wuhan.
Due the extensive amount of travelling the crew members have been undertaking, residents of their home localities and the welfare associations have been afraid of contracting the disease from them. Some have been called the police on a few occasions. Such fear is acting as a hurdle for the crew and preventing them from performing their duty.
Air India tweeted from its official handle yesterday, “We would like to appeal to all, particularly the law-enforcement agencies, to ensure that Air India crew are treated with respect and given the freedom that all citizens deserve, especially those who have been discharging their duties in a selfless manner, to ensure the return of fellow Indians.”
The Airline further said in a statement that it has taken every precaution to ensure the safety of its crew and protect their well-being in each and every flight they have undertaken to cities affected with COVID-19. All essential and non-essential measures have been taken to arrest the spread of coronavirus amongst the crew and passengers. The crew is serving the country selflessly, just like the doctors, nurses and others out in the field.
The national carrier urged the neighbours and public targeting its crew to spare a thought for the many spouses, parents and children who have been successfully brought back to their near and dear ones, thanks to the heroic efforts of the Air India crew.
The Airline clarified that it follows protocols for every crew member engaged in rescue operations,such as regular check-ups and home quarantine.