COVID-19: Govt to send 64 flights to facilitate return of Indians from abroad

11:25 AM May 05, 2020 | Team Udayavani |
New Delhi: Over 60 flights from India is all set to bring back thousands of its citizens stranded around the world because of the coronavirus pandemic. As per the flight plan by the ministry of external affairs (MEA), 64 flights will be sent to a dozen countries to repatriate students and blue-collar workers among others from abroad. KBS Sidhu, Punjab special chief secretary taking to Twitter on Tuesday, May 5 wrote, " So India finally begins to fly back its Citizens home – approximately 2000 persons a day. A sneak peek into the 7-day plan. Punjab has only one incoming flight from Dubai, UAE on the 7." Sidhu also share the the detailed flight plan for the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad. As per the plan shared by Sidhu residents of Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR), Gujarat, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Uttar Pradesh are among those to be evacuated. The 64 flights will be sent to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Malaysia, the UK, Singapore, Bangladesh, the Philippines and the US from May 7. There will be 15 flights for the residents of Kerala, 11 each from Delhi-NCR and Tamil Nadu, seven for Maharashtra and Telangana, five for Gujarat, three each for Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka and one each for Punjab and Uttar Pradesh. Blue-collar workers, including those who have lost jobs in West Asia, such as UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, will be repatriated first, followed by students and Indians who were stranded in other countries for a variety of reasons. At least 150,000 Indians have registered to return with the Indian missions in the UAE alone and about 45,000 Indians who benefited from a recent visa amnesty will be brought back from Kuwait. Indian missions around the world have been registering citizens stranded when Covid-19-related travel restrictions were put in place by India and other countries, and those who want to return because they have lost their jobs or to meet their families. The Union government will facilitate the return of Indians stranded abroad and the process will begin from May 7 in a phased manner In a statement isuued on Monday, May 5 the Home Ministry said only asymptomatic people would be allowed to travel and it would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships, and the facility will be available on a payment basis After their arrival in India, medical examination will be conducted on everyone and they will be subsequently put under quarantine for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional facility, the ministry said "The government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner. The travel would begin from May 7," it said. Test to detect Covid-19 will be done on the travellers after 14 days and “further action would be taken according to health protocols”, it said.

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