CHENNAI: In one of the longest medical airlift operation in the country, 47-year-old Vijay Yasam, a Bank of Baroda employee from Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, was transported to Chennai from Johannesburg in South Africa.
The four-day round-trip mission carried out by ICATT Learjet Air Ambulance posed a huge logistical challenge of flying over the Arabian sea and Indian Ocean, crossing seven countries, four time zones and 30 hours of flying, said Fahim Husain, marketing head, ICATT Health Solution. Yasam has terminal cancer of his intestines. He underwent an operation there and needed to be repatriated for further treatment.
Unable to get back, Yasam’s health was deteriorating and officials from Bank of Baroda, South Africa branch sought help from ICATT Air Ambulance. This sort of operation was never attempted and founder directors of ICATT, Dr Rahul Singh Sardar and Dr Shalini Nalwad, both intensive care and aero-medical specialists with past experience of operating in war zones were requested to bring Yasam home.
A special team was selected and flew out on May 8. The challenge was they needed a place for night halt on both directions. All Island countries including Seychelles and Madagascar initially refused, but later Mauritius relented. They landed in Johannesburg on May 9 and left on May 10 and reached Chennai around on Monday, said Faheem.
171 return from Kuwait
Meanwhile, over 170 Indians were brought back in a special Air India flight from Kuwait as part of Vande Bharat Mission. This comes after the first two flights carrying passengers from UAE landed on Sunday post-midnight. All passengers were facilitated for smooth Customs clearance. According to official sources, the passengers have been classified and rooms were allotted to them. A total of 10 flights carrying Indians will land in Chennai.