Vande Bharat Mission: India Will Send 64 Flights To Airlift Citizens Stranded Abroad in phase 1

Lakhs of Indians are stranded abroad due to the coronavirus outbreak. The government has decided to bring them back to India by air and by sea starting from May 8 in the world’s largest evacuation mission.  Over 3 lakh Indian citizens have requested to return home.

India is now planning to expand the process of bringing its stranded nationals back home by including more countries such as Germany, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Russia and Thailand, among others. These countries were not part of the initial phase of the ongoing ‘Vande Bharat Mission’.

This will be the biggest evacuation exercise since Air India flew back 1,70,000 people during the first Gulf War.

Here’s all you need to know: 

  • More than 14,800 Indians stranded in 13 countries will be brought back by 64 flights in one week.
  • Those taking special flights from Europe will be charged approximately Rs.50,000.
  • Indians returning from the United States will have to pay Rs.1,00,000. 
  • Naval warships will be sent out for Indians stuck in West Asia and the Maldives. 
  • The government will run 10 flights to the UAE, 7 each to the United States and the United Kingdom, 5 to Saudi Arabia, 5 to Singapore and 2 flights to Qatar. 
  • Additionally, there will also be flights to Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Philippines, Oman and Bahrain.
  • Each flight will have around 200 to 300 passengers to ensure social distancing. 
  • Before boarding the special flights, all passengers will have to declare if they have fever, cough, diabetes or any respiratory disease.
  • Indians with valid visas will be allowed to fly out on these same special flights provided they are permitted into their destination country.
  • Compulsory passenger screening will be done at the airports and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel. 
  • On return, all passengers will be quarantined for 14 days.
  • Officials confirmed that priority will be given to pregnant women, senior citizens, those with medical emergencies, the ones with bereavement or serious illness in their immediate family along with migrant workers who have been laid off.

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