Chennai: The Chennai airport bustled with activity as it operated eight special flights and handled 1,226 passengers from yesteday evening to midnight.
Airport sources said 593 foreign nationals, who were working in various South Indian States and were stranded due to grounding of flights in view of the coronavirus lockdown, left for their home country by four special
flights operated by their respective countries.
While 210 passengers each left for Sydney and Melbourne, 108 left for Bangkok in Thailand and 65 to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia
Similarly, 633 Indians who were stranded in foreign countries due to the lockdown, were expatriated in four special flights.
While 160 returned from Thailand, 286 came in two flights from Damam and 177 from Doha, Qatar.
After Customs officials facilitated smooth clearances, all the passengers were subjected to medical tests by Health department workers to ascertain whether they were exposed to coronavirus.
Later, they were taken to government and institutional quarantine centre, where they would be housed for 14 days.
Of the 160 passengers, who came from Thailand, 22 were from Palakkad district in Kerala. Following an assurance given by them that they would be under self-isolation in their State, the Kerala government was informed about
it and they were sent in a separate bus to their State.