22 Indian deported from US test Covid-19 positive, says Haryana’s health minister

indica News Bureau-


US recently deported 167 illegal immigrants to Amritsar in Punjab on a special chartered flight. A total of 76 people from Haryana were part of that group. The 76 Haryana natives were later brought to Panchkula where they underwent the COVID-19 and other medical tests.

While those found COVID negative will be quarantined in their home districts, the 22 COVID-19 patients will undergo treatment at a dedicated hospital in Panchkula.

“Twenty two of these 76 have been found having COVID-19,” Anil Vij, health minister of Haryana told journalists.  After they were deported from the US and arrived in India earlier this week, Vij had said all will undergo COVID-19 tests before they are quarantined in their home districts. Gurgaon reported 12 cases, Faridabad 10 and Sonipat three, a state health department bulletin said.

The US had deported 167 illegal Indian immigrants through a special flight that landed at the airport here around 4 pm on Tuesday. On their arrival, they were shifted to a high-security area where medical teams screened each one of them. They had reports of rapid diagnostic test (Covid-19) conducted before boarding the plane in the US.

As the protocol demands, all will be placed under the 14-day quarantine in their home districts. There was no suspect found in the screening at airport but later 22 found positive after test. Ajnala SDM Deepak Bhatia said, “The medical examination of the returnees is underway. So far, no suspected case of Covid-19 has surfaced.”

Most of the deported Indians had entered the US from its southern border with Mexico and had exhausted all legal options to stay in the US. They were arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement sleuths while trying to enter America illegally. Sources say the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 1,793 illegal Indian immigrants. According to sources most of them sneaked in to Texas, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Washington and Atlanta illegally through Mexico border illegally and sought asylum on the pretext of “atrocities and persecution” in India. They were, however, nabbed and lodged in 95 detention centres in New York, Atlanta and San Francisco.

According to reports, among those on the list to be deported are the maximum of 76 from Haryana, 56 from Punjab, 12 from Gujarat, five from Uttar Pradesh and four from Maharashtra. Also, two each from Kerala, Telengana and Tamil Nadu and one each from Andhra Pradesh and Goa will be deported. The Covid-19 reports of immigrants from rest of the states are still awaited.

This is not the first time when illegal immigrants deported from US to any country found positive for Covid-19. In the scramble to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, the Trump administration has been pushing forward with its aggressive immigration enforcement, deporting thousands of people to their home countries, including some who are sick with the coronavirus.

Recently, Dozens of Guatemalans flown home by Immigration and Customs Enforcement since late March tested positive for the coronavirus after returning, according to Guatemalan authorities. Guatemala’s health minister, Hugo Monroy, said U.S. deportation flights were aggravating the outbreak in Guatemala by returning people already infected with the virus.