STATE TIMES NEWS Ladakh: Ladakh MP Jamyang Tsering Namgyal has written to Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri seeking a special flight to Leh from Delhi and Chandigarh, where many patients of his constituency are stranded. He said many people from Ladakh are undergoing treatment at various reputed hospitals like AIIMS, Delhi and PGI, Chandigarh. “Many of them came for routine check-up/follow up under the medical protocol. Most of the patients are budgeted and they are on the verge of running short of money and even some are reported to have been facing financial crisis as they are supposed to fly back home to Ladakh and suddenly the period of lockdown started,” Namgyal said. Citing that the road linkage to Ladakh was suspended since last November-2019 and still hasn’t opened for vehicular transit, he said, “In the backdrop of such situation it is my sincere request to allow operation of a special flight to airlift these patients from both these cities to Ladakh”. On arrival at Leh, they shall be compulsorily quarantined for specific period under COVID-19 protocol, the BJP MP from the Union Territory of Ladakh said. In another letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, he sought early evacuation of the stranded pilgrims from Iran. “I learnt that our embassy in Iran has reported more than 250 positive cases of COVID-19 more than 25 days ago and the stranded pilgrims informed me that they have been staying together till date without any medical facility,” Namgyal said in the letter written on Sunday. On the other hand, Iran being one of the most affected by COVID-19 after US and italy, leaving our citizens at the mercy of other countries, which are striving hard to struggle against the deadly virus, makes the situation more painful, he said. “As such once again I am approaching your kind self with a hand-folded request to consider the early evacuation of these stranded pilgrims. “After arrival in India they may be quarantined or even put in isolation centre as long as the government wishes under WHO protocol and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare guidelines so at least they can breathe in our soil,” Namgyal said. Since the spread of COVID-19 in Iran and stoppage of international flight by the country, 604 Ladakh pilgrims were evacuated from there till date, according to his letter.
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