Vande Bharat mission in South America: India reaches out to stranded citizens, starts their repatriation

By: |
May 19, 2020 6:21 PM

This team has gone around various states to given medical help and counselling to stranded travellers from different countries including Indians.

“The plan was to coordinate with countries and their local airlines that could help in moving the stranded citizens to the nearest port from where Indian carriers could pick them up.”“The plan was to coordinate with countries and their local airlines that could help in moving the stranded citizens to the nearest port from where Indian carriers could pick them up.” (Twitter image)

The long wait for the Indian stranded in South American nations is over. In coordination with the Indian Missions and Posts from countries including Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Ministry of External Affairs in getting them back to India.

Financial Express Online had reported earlier this month that the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in coordination with the Indian Missions and Posts are planning to repatriate more Indians from more countries including South America.

Sources in the MEA had confirmed “In the initial phase the focus was to get the stranded citizens from the neighbouring countries, the US and the UK, including those with compelling reasons which included students, pregnant women, those who had lost their jobs, or those whose visa had expired.”

“The plan was to coordinate with countries and their local airlines that could help in moving the stranded citizens to the nearest port from where Indian carriers could pick them up.”

India has already been extending a helping hand to countries by sending medicines, medical supplies either as a grant or on a commercial basis. Countries in the Latin America & Caribbean (LAC) Region including — Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Uruguay, Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay, Colombia, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Bahamas have received Hydroxychloroquine.

Indians in Central America

Those stranded in Central American countries including El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras have already been moved out on connecting flights going to the US or Europe. According to top Indian diplomat in the region, “There were no Indians stranded in El Salvador. Around 40 Indians were stranded in Honduras and 90 families in Guatemala,” confirmed BS Mubarak, Indian envoy to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador.

“After having discussions with the US Embassy, those stranded with valid US visas were allowed to board the American flights which were taking back their citizens,” the diplomat added. “Now there are just 14 Indians in Guatemala and 8 in Honduras are left to be sent back. We are working with the local airlines to drop them to the nearest port.”

Indians in South America

Later in this week, Indians stranded in Chile, Argentina, Uruguay & Paraguay are coming back on different flights.

Efforts are going on to bring back those stranded in Brazil and Mexico. The total number of Indians who are stranded there is around 600. “We are trying to coordinate with the Ministry of Civil Aviation and other related agencies and the Indian missions to get them back,” the source said.

The external affairs minister S Jaishankar has been in constant touch with his counterparts in the region and has extended India’s help to fight the global pandemic. Soon, from India medicines and medical supplies to Uruguay and Paraguay will reach there soon.

In close coordination with the Ambassador of Argentina to India Daniel Chuburu who himself was stranded in his country due to lockdown and India’s Ambassador to Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, several Indians are now on their way to India

Since the number of Indians who have registered to return to Indian on compelling grounds, the Indian mission has sent ensured that the stranded Indians get on to flights which are 30 long hours to India.

Only asymptomatic stranded Indians have been allowed to board the flights which will be coming through Sydney.

Stranded foreigners not only from South America but other countries get free medical help from an Argentinean doctor and his team.

Out of 270 Indians who have registered themselves for repatriation from Santiago, Chile, around 50 are expected to board the LATAM flight today. This has been confirmed by India’s Ambassador to Chile Anita Nayar.

South American Missions in New Delhi help stranded foreigners

Embassy of Argentina and Chile in New Delhi have been extending full cooperation to Dr Sergio Lais-Suarez of Argentina and his team including the Social Worker Natalia Cardielo and Cristina Balanian who have been travelling to various Indian states to help stranded foreigners.

This team has gone around various states to given medical help and counselling to stranded travellers from different countries including Indians.

Dr Sergio Lais-Suarez who his returning to his country tomorrow told Financial Express Online that “On May 20, around 140 Argentineans will be repatriated from India and another 140 from Thailand. For the 140 boarding from Indira Gandhi International Airport, I will be doing their medical checkup and ensuring that they fit to board the flight.”

Dr Sergio Lais-Suarez who was holding free medical camps was carrying out a Coronavirus Medical Control Protocol which included temperature measurement, oxygen saturation, heart and lung auscultation, control of blood pressure and other clinical parameters. This was done to ensure that their health history is noted and they have no problems on boarding the flight.”

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