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Home / News / India /  15,000 Indians, 7 days, 13 countries, 64 flights: Govt's mega evacuation plan starts, 10 updates

To bring back hundreds of thousands of stranded Indians across the world amid coronavirus lockdown, India has decided to deploy commercial jets, military transport planes and naval warships in what is set to be one of the biggest-ever peacetime repatriation exercise in history.

In the first phase, over 14,800 Indians stuck in 13 countries will be brought back by 64 flights, said the ministry of external affairs. India on Tuesday dispatched three Naval ships to Maldives and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as part of the first phase of evacuation.

From the Gulf to Europe and the US, millions of Indians were stranded after India halted flight operations from March 26 to curb the virus spread. India is under the third phase of nationwide lockdown till May 17.

1) The flights from India will go to 12 countries — the UAE, the UK, the US, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman.

2) Out of the 64 flight, 10 flights will fly to the UAE, two to Qatar, five to Saudi Arabia, seven to UK, five to Singapore, seven to United States, five to Philippines, seven to Bangladesh, two to Bahrain, seven to Malaysia, five to Kuwait, two to Oman, said civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri.

3) The first day of evacuation will see 10 flights repatriate 2,300 Indians. On Day 2, around 2,050 Indian nationals will arrive in Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru and Delhi from nine different countries, according to the plan. On Day 3, over 2,000 stranded Indian nationals from Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and US will return to the country. On Day 4 of the plan, the aviation ministry in collaboration with the foreign ministry will evacuate 1,850 stranded nationals from eight different countries, including the US, UK and the UAE.

4) This evacuation facility would be made available on payment-basis. The rates fixed for the journey will be 50,000 for London-Mumbai, similarly for London to Ahmedabad, London to Bengaluru and London to Delhi. For Chicago-Delhi-Hyderabad the rough cost will be about 1 lakh, said Puri.

5) Only asymptomatic passengers are allowed to travel. All the passengers will be screened before boarding the flights.

6) All those who want to come back to India are required to fill a form and submit a copy to the health counter and immigration counter at the arrival. The passengers must mention if they are suffering from fever, cough, diabetes or any respiratory disease.

7) Three Navy ships set sail today to Maldives and UAE. While amphibious transport dock INS Jalaswa and warfare vessel INS Magar set sails for the Maldives and INS Shardul attached to Southern Naval Command sailed for Dubai today.

8) All the returning Indians will need to register on the Aarogya Setu app the moment they land in the country. Everyone will be medically screened.

9) All of them will need to be quarantined for 14 days after the screening. COVID-19 test will be done after two weeks and further action will be decided.

10) The Centre asked the state governments to arrange testing, quarantine facility of the returning Indians in their respective states.

(With inputs from agencies)

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