Home / News / India /  Indians evacuated from abroad need to have Aarogya Setu app upon arrival: MHA

New Delhi: Stranded Indians who will be brought back from abroad by special flights will have to download Aarogya Setu app upon arrival, said a Home Ministry official on Tuesday.

Punya Salila Srivastava, a joint secretary in the Union Home Ministry, added that the passengers who land in the country on board the special flights will have to follow all the government-issued health guidelines, and they will be screened and kept at paid quarantine facilities for 14 days.

All passengers will be screened, only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed on board, and they will be quarantined for 14 days before having to go through a virus test, the government said.

Priority will be given to pregnant women, the elderly, people with medical emergencies and ones with bereavement or serious illness in their immediate family, apart from stranded tourists, according to a notice posted on the website of the Indian High Commission in London.

Indian government will operate 64 flights to bring back 14,000 stranded Indians from abroad. Majority of these flights are expected to be operated by Air India, while some might also be flown by private airlines and the IAF.

Accordingly, a massive rescue plan will be implemented May 7th, whereby, Air India and others will operate 64 flights over a period of 7-days to various airports in the Gulf, Europe and the United States.

As per the MEA's "Flight Plan for Return of Indian Nationals Stranded Abroad" dated May 4, the exercise will encompass flights to the US in the West to Philippines in the East.

At least four Indian Navy Ships, including two large tank landing vessels, sailed on Tuesday, three to the Gulf region and another one to the Maldives, which will bring back stranded Indians. The Indian Air Force has prepared about 30 aircraft, including Boeing Co.’s C-17 Globemaster and Lockheed Martin Corp.’s C-130J Super Hercules, for the mission. Air India Ltd., which has a fleet including Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft, will also operate special, non-scheduled commercial flights from London Heathrow starting May 7.

Air India will operate 64 flights in the first week, while it’s “entirely possible" that private airlines may also operate some flights in the future, civil aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters in an online briefing. Those coming from the U.S. will be charged more than $1,300 each while tickets from London will cost more than 500 pounds, Puri said. People landing in the country will also have to pay for their own quarantine.

In the U.A.E. alone, almost 200,000 Indians have applied to come back, according to a statement tweeted by the Consulate General of India in Dubai.

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