Mission Vande Bharat begins! First flights from UAE land in Kerala; check details

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Published: May 8, 2020 12:07:40 PM

Good work team!' is how External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar termed India's biggest evacuation exercise on Thursday.

External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar, Mission Vande Bharat, Aviation Minister Hardeep SIngh Puri, flights to Kerala, Kerala quarantine facilities, Kerala airport, Cochin International airport, COVID-19, coronavirus, flights from UAE, flights from Middle East, Kerala flights, non resident Keralites abroad, Keralites from Middle East, NORKAThe state government has been making elaborate safety arrangements to welcome the non-resident Keralites returning to the state. (Photo source: Calicut Airport, Twitter)

COVID-19: “Mission Vande Bharat begins,” Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri had tweeted on Thursday after India successfully launched one of its biggest evacuation exercises! He further reiterated that state governments will now have to arrange for their mandatory 14 day quarantine. ‘Good work team!’ is how External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar termed India’s biggest evacuation exercise on Thursday.

The evacuation exercise involved bringing back the first batch of NRIs stranded in the Middle East due to the COVID-19 shutdown. On Thursday night, an Air India Express flight from Abu Dhabi landed in Kochi international airport carrying about 177 passengers and four children, IE reported. The process of transporting passengers after their medical screening involved getting them to form groups based on the home districts they belong to. Following this, they would be transported to quarantine centres in their respective home districts in special buses. The state government has been making elaborate safety arrangements to welcome the non-resident Keralites returning to the state. All safety and health measures are being closely monitored to ensure their well being and comfort even during quarantine in their respective home districts.

Another flight landed minutes later in Kerala’ s Kozhikode airport, with 5 children and 177 passengers.

On arrival, IE reported that the passengers from Abu Dhabi had to undergo mandatory screening. Thereafter, the asymptomatic would be shifted to quarantine centres for 14 days in their respective home districts. Already, hotel quarantine arrangements have been made in Guruvayur and pictures of the facilities have been doing the rounds on social media.

Kerala’s airport authorities made it clear that baggage would also undergo DRDO’s disinfection procedure at two levels through two tunnels. In Kochi airport, for instance, the baggage will be put through DRDO’s ultraviolet disinfection system that has been recently installed in its premises.

Earlier on Thursday night, Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar on Twitter, terming it a ‘moment to cherish the leadership of PM Modi and EAM Dr. S. Jaishankar’ for making a ‘complex mission’ possible.

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