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Coronavirus: India plans to bring back more than 14,000 Indians stranded in phase 1 | India News


NEW DELHI: India has embarked on a massive operation involving naval ships and planes gradually to bring back some of the hundreds of thousands of citizens trapped abroad due to coronavirus restrictions, the government said.

India banned all incoming international flights in late March as it imposed one of the strictest virus blocks in the world, leaving large numbers of workers and students stranded.

This is how India plans to bring back its stranded citizens around the world:

* The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has prepared a table for the evacuation of more than 14,000 Indian citizens stranded in 13 foreign countries for 64 flights in week 1 of the operation.

* Under the MEA plan that will begin on May 7, approximately 14,800 passengers will be evacuated from 13 different countries. Flights from India will fly to the Philippines, Singapore, Bangladesh, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore, the Philippines, the USA. USA, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait.

* The Indian embassy and its consulates in other countries, such as the United Arab Emirates and the USA. In the USA, they began to prepare a list of Indians who plan to travel back home. The list is being prepared through an online registration form.

* Three Navy warships have also sailed to bring stranded Indian citizens back from the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates. A total of 14 warships have been prepared to evacuate Indian citizens from the Gulf and other countries.

* Indians returning to India will be required to pay airfare and bear the cost of quarantine at designated locations for 14 days upon return.

* Priority is being given to the most vulnerable categories, such as pregnant women and the very elderly, people facing medical emergencies, people who are grieving or terminally / seriously ill in their immediate families in India, stranded tourists , etc.

* On the first day of evacuation you will see 10 flights repatriate 2300 Indians.

* On Day 2, around 2050 Indian citizens will arrive in Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore and Delhi from nine different countries, according to the plan.

* On Day 3, some 2050 stranded citizens are expected to arrive in Mumbai, Kochi, Lucknow and Delhi from 13 countries spread across the Middle East, Europe, Southeast Asia and the United States.

* On day 4 of the plan, the aviation ministry in collaboration with the MEA will evacuate 1,850 stranded citizens from eight different countries, including the US. USA, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.

* Before boarding evacuation flights, all persons coming to India must complete a form and send a copy to the health and immigration desk upon arrival. Passengers must indicate if they have fever, cough, diabetes or respiratory disease. This form is similar to the one filled by passengers returning to the country during the first days of the Covid-19 outbreak.

* Official government guidelines say that all passengers will be screened before they are allowed to board flights for their return, and only asymptomatic passengers could travel.

* During the trip, they must follow the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

* Upon arrival in India, all would be medically examined. After the scrutiny, interested state governments would quarantine them for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine for payment.

* Upon arrival in India, all passengers would have to register in the Aarogya Setu app.

* This MEA airlift would be the largest since the Persian Gulf War evacuation of more than 170,000 people from Kuwait in 1990. Similar evacuations were also observed in April 2015, when Operation Raahat was launched to evacuate the Indians. Yemen devastated by war.

(With contributions from the agency)

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