Vande Bharat Mission: More stranded Indians expected to arrive next week from far away countries

By: |
June 19, 2020 8:11 PM

The Ministry of External Affairs has been coordinating with all the Indian Missions and Posts and other related ministries and agencies to ensure that the repatriation process is smoothly carried out.

Vande Bharat Mission, lockdown, covid-19 pandemicSo far more than 57,000 Indian nationals have returned on such flights(Image: PTI/Indian Embassy in Manila Twitter)

More stranded Indians are expected to return in Phase III for the Vande Bharat Mission from countries in Africa, LAC region, as well as from the CIS countries. According to the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Anurag Srivastava, “So far 2, 50,087 Indians have returned and out of this 21 % of these returnees are migrant workers.”

“Till date around 5,700 Indians have returned from Africa, around 750 from the Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) region and more will be returning soon,” Srivastava told the Financial Express Online.

Top diplomatic sources have confirmed to Financial Express Online that next week “Sixteen Indians are leaving from Costa Rica on June 22 /23 on an Air France Flight from San Jose to Paris. And from Paris, they will connect to Vande Bharat Mission flight to Mumbai.” Adding, “Those flying out include five students from the University of Peace and some Indian employees who were working on a project and had to return home.”

The Ministry of External Affairs has been coordinating with all the Indian Missions and Posts and other related ministries and agencies to ensure that the repatriation process is smoothly carried out.

All the Indians who are returning on the repatriation flights have to pay for the tickets, COVID-19 tests as well as quarantine facilities and onwards journey within India.

“In the LAC the region, Indians stranded in other countries like Chile, Panama, Nicaragua are all in touch with the respective Indian Missions who are helping them to return to India,” the diplomat added.

In the Phase III which has already started there are going to be 550 flights, plus 191 feeder flights and these will be covering 41 countries and will operate from 55 International and 27 domestic airports.

As has been reported earlier through land border immigration checkpoints in Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh more than 75000 Indians have returned. And in addition to these numbers 4,50,000 persons have registered their request for repatriation with various missions overseas on compelling grounds.

Update:

With the government allowing operation of chartered flights since May 26, the pace of operations have picked up and so far more than 57,000 Indian nationals have returned on such flights. On June 16 alone, on 36 flights more than 6400 nationals have come back.

The government has been from time to time expanding the criteria to enable stranded Indians to board these flights and this includes such categories where some members of the family are foreign nationals.

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