DELHI: Indian government has formally launched the largest repatriation programme ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ which not only looks into bringing back Indian nationals but also those NRIs who want to return to their respective countries where they have family, jobs, etc. The Ministry of External Affairs is also focused on rehabilitation of those Indian nationals who have been rendered unemployed.
The phased repatriation mission from May 7 to 13, has 64 flights bringing back approximately 14,800 citizens from 12 countries including UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Philippines, Singapore, UK, Bangladesh, Singapore, USA and Oman.
India plans to repatriate up to 2,000 stranded nationals from the UAE itself. Through 10 special flights in a week, starting from May 7. The embassy did a series of tweets regarding the flights.
177 passengers have been listed as travelling on the first evacuation flight from Abu Dhabi to Kochi on Thursday, as per the Indian Embassy-Consulate in the UAE.
Over 3,000 Indian nationals have registered with the High Commission of India in Singapore.
Thermal screening of all passengers will be done at the airports and only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board. Those found to be symptomatic during screening will be taken to a medical facility as per health protocol.
The Ministry of Home Affairs’ requisite standard operating procedure (SOP) for all stranded Indian citizens returning home included:
1.Should test negative for the Covid-19 coronavirus in order to fly
2.Must give a written undertaking that they are travelling at their own risk
3.Shall be asked to download the Arogya Setu app on their mobile devices
4. Need to provide a written undertaking, indicating their consent to undergo a mandatory 14-day institutional quarantine upon arrival in India, at their own cost
Indians stranded due to COVID-19 and returning home are to bear the cost of travel as specified by Civil Aviation Ministry, as well as the price for staying in a government-arranged 14-day quarantine facility. And Wearing of masks is mandatory while on flights, said the MHA.
Respiratory hygiene, environmental hygiene and health protocols issued by the MoCA and DMA must be strictly adhered to by all airline/ ship crew and passengers.