Joy amidst chaos: Saudi Arabia returnee gives birth to baby girl in Kochi

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Kochi (Kerala) [India], May 14 (ANI): In distressing times when happiness seems distant, it turned out to be double joy for a pregnant woman, who was stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic, as she returned home and gave birth to a baby girl at the Kalamassery Medical College here on Thursday. Shahina, who hails from Kollam was stranded in South Arabia, returned to Kochi on Tuesday by a special flight under the Vande Bharat Mission with her two children aged five and two. Her husband Ahmed Kabir works in a construction company in Saudi Arabia. "The woman was ill when she reached the Kochi airport. Authorities took her to the Kalamassery Medical College by an ambulance," said the district administration. The hospital also conducted COVID-19 test of Shahina and her children. All of them tested negative. Earlier, Sonia Jacob, a woman from Pathanamthitta district, who arrived from the Maldives on INS Jalashwa, had given birth to a baby boy on Sunday. Under Vande Bharat Mission, India has conducted one of the biggest repatriation exercises to evacuate its citizens stranded abroad due to coronavirus pandemic which resulted in countries closing its borders and imposing restrictions including air travel. Lakhs of people had registered with Indian missions in the Gulf region to be repatriated home. However, not everyone but only "those with compelling grounds to return will be brought back." Those who fit the parameters include people facing deportation, migrant workers who have been laid off, short-term visa holders, people with medical emergencies, pregnant women, elderly persons, a person who has lost a near one, tourists and students whose colleges and hostels are shut. (ANI)