India to evacuate around 15,000 Indians from 12 countries on more than 60 flights

The Centre on had Monday announced that the government will facilitate the return of Indians stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic in a phased manner.

New Delhi, May 5:

The government on Tuesday said India will fly back around 15,000 Indians stranded in 12 countries due to coronavirus lockdown on more than 60 flights in the first seven days, starting May 7.

On the mega evacuation plan, sources in the government said that more than 60 international flights have been planned for one week starting May 7.

Sources added that the targeted evacuation is of over 2,000 Indians every day from May 7 to May 13. The 12 countries from where Indians will be evacuated include the Gulf, the US, the UK, Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia, they said.

India, which has been under a lockdown, had banned arrival of international flights beginning March 23. The 21-day lockdown first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17.

In a relief for Indians stuck abroad, the government on Monday announced that it will start evacuating its citizens from May 7. Saying that the process will be carried out in a phased manner, the Home Ministry said it will be a paid service.

“Government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner,” a press statement read. The statement added that only those showing no symptoms of coronavirus will be allowed to travel.

After their arrival in India, their medical examination will be conducted and they will be subsequently put under quarantine for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional facility, also on payment basis, the statement added.

India has prepared the standard operating protocol (SOP), and the Indian embassies and high commissions are preparing a list of distressed citizens, according to the ministry.

“This facility would be made available on payment-basis. Non-scheduled commercial flights would be arranged for air travel,” it said.

Medical screening of passengers will be done before taking the flight and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel.

During the journey, they will have to follow the protocols, such as the health protocols issued by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Ministry, it said.

“On reaching the destination, everyone would have to register on the Arogya Setu app,” the Home Ministry said. “Everyone would be medically screened. After scrutiny, they would be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned state government,” it said.



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