New Delhi: Amid coronavirus lockdown, the Narendra Modi-led government is planning to bring back around 14,800 Indian nationals stranded in 12 countries. The government would operate 64 special flights to repatriate Indians from 12 countries —the UAE, the UK, the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman. Also Read - Meera Chopra on Being Slut Shamed by Jr NTR Fans: They Wish my Parents Die of COVID-19; How Can a Woman Feel Safe?
India will bring back 4,350 people from 6 countries in the gulf. 2000 from UAE, 1,000 from Saudi Arabia, 4,00 each from Qatar and Bahrain, 1,000 from Kuwait and 450 from Oman. Besides, 2,100 people would be repatriated from US, 1,750 from UK and Malaysia, 1,400 people from Bangladesh, 1,250 people from Philippines and Singapore. Also Read - Delhi News: Capital Registers Record Single-day Spike of 1,513 Cases, Total Tally Crosses 23,000-mark
Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express would operate these special flights from May 7 to 13. The government is expected to run more repatriation flights after May 13. Also Read - ICC Cricket Committee Chief Anil Kumble Bats For More Spinner-friendly Pitches Post Lockdown to Maintain Balance
Speaking to PTI, official said that India is likely to conduct 10 flights to the UAE, seven flights each to the US and the UK, five to Saudi Arabia, five to Singapore and two flights to Qatar. It is also likely to conduct seven flights each to Malaysia and Bangladesh, five each to Kuwait and Philippines, two each to Oman and Bahrain, the officials noted.
Out of the 64 repatriation flights, 15 would be from Kerala, 11 each would be from Delhi and Tamil Nadu, seven each would be from Maharashtra and Telangana, and remaining flights would be from five other states, the officials said.
Earlier in the day, three Navy warships have been sailed out to bring back Indian citizens stranded in Maldives and United Arab Emirates (UAE). The warships include INS Jalashwa, INS Magar and INS Shardul.
This is said to be Independent India’s largest repatriation mission to bring back its citizens stranded abroad due to COVID-19 pandemic. India will be getting back 1,92,000 people in the first phase of the mammoth exercise with the focus on the Gulf.
On Monday India’s envoy to UAE Pavan Kapoor speaking exclusively to WION said, “I am glad that we are starting this process of repatriation for those who urgently need to return to India. We look forward to working closely with the UAE authorities to make this process as smooth and efficient as we can.”