In one of the largest evacuation exercises named the Vande Bharat Mission, the government will operate 64 flights from today till May 13 to bring home nearly 14,800 Indian nationals stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown.
Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar said on Tuesday that preparations for the operation have commenced and also urged the stranded individuals to stay in touch with the Indian embassies in their countries.
The 64 flights will include 10 flights from the UAE, 2 from Qatar, 5 from Saudi Arabia, 7 from UK, 5 from Singapore, 7 from United States, 5 from Philippines, 7 from Bangladesh, 2 from Bahrain, 7 from Malaysia, 5 from Kuwait and 2 flights from Oman.
Out of the total , 15 flights will bring back people to Kerala followed by eleven flights each to Tamil Nadu and Delhi.
Seven flights will be flying back people to Maharashtra and Telangana whereas five flights are slated for Gujarat.
Maximum number of flights in the first week of repatriation will bring back citizens from the Gulf countries.
More than 350 Indians from UAE will be flying back home today as India starts one of the world’s biggest repatriation process.
Meanwhile, Navy has also sent three of its ships under Operation Samudra Setu to get back stranded citizens from Maldives and UAE.
INS Jalashwa and INS Magar will get back Indians from the Maldives while INS Shardul has been diverted to Dubai to get back the expatriates.
India’s High Commissioner to Maldives Sanjay Sudhir said that elaborate arrangements have been made for the evacuation of Indian citizens.
The evacuated personnel will be disembarked at Kochi, Kerala and entrusted to the care of state authorities.