With the Indian government’s help, 62 patients were airlifted from Yemen for treatment at a private hospital in the city amid the pandemic, an official said on Wednesday.
“With the Indian government’s support, 62 Yemeni patients and 58 family members were evacuated after they tested Covid negative before boarding the flight at Djibouti and landing in Bengaluru on Monday,” said Aster Hospitals chief executive Nitish Shetty in a statement here.
Among the patients, 13 have war injuries, four need cancer cure, three organ transplant and two cardiac care.
Union Chemicals and Fertilisers Minister D. V. Sadananda Gowda, a Lok Sabha member from Bengaluru North constituency, helped in securing visas for the patients and their relatives and facilitating their travel to Bengaluru amid the pandemic.
“As most patients are immune-suppressed, the risk of contracting the infection has been high and are in a vulnerable category,” said Shetty.
About 200 patients from Africa and the Gulf region have registered under the initiative for treatment at the hospital in the coming weeks.
“In recent years, India has been a major draw for patients from African, Gulf and other developed countries. Our nation is emerging as a preferred destination for healthcare and the number of patients arriving for treatment has grown exponentially over the years,” said Gowda on the occasion.
According to Shetty, about five lakh patients travel from 30 countries the world over to India for medical treatment.
“As majority of the patients could not travel during the last nine months due to the pandemic and cancellation of flights, the hospital sought the government’s support in flying the patients for treatment,” added Shetty.