Union government announced that it would operate flights to evacuate citizens stranded abroad in a phased manner from Thursday. Aircrafts and naval ships will bring them back in return for payment. Over 14,000 passengers will be brought back by aircrafts and ships from various countries amid the Coronavirus pandemic.
Air India will operate 64 flights from May 7 to May 13. India’s Civil Aviation Minister made the announcement through a series of tweets.
Pursuant to MHA announcement in which Civil Aviation is one of the modes to be deployed for evacuation of distressed stranded Indian citizens abroad & of those who are normally living abroad but want to return, @MoCA_GoI has drawn up a flight plan to facilitate the process.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 5, 2020
64 @airindiain flights will operate in 1st week (7-13 May). 10 flights will operate from UAE, 2 from Qatar, 5 from Saudi Arabia, 7 from UK, 5 from Singapore, 7 from USA, 5 from Philippines, 7 from Bangladesh, 2 from Bahrain, 7 from Malaysia, 5 from Kuwait & 2 from Oman.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 5, 2020
These evacuation services will be charged.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 5, 2020
States will implement all standard prescribed preventive measures & arrange for a paid 14-day mandatory quarantine for these passengers.
These special flights will be charged, payment depending on the country the flight will take off from. Flying back from US and UK to India will cost Rs1 lakh and Rs50, 000, while flight from Singapore to Delhi will cost around Rs20, 000 to the passengers. These flights will operate from 12 countries in the first week including UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, USA, UK, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore.
A medical screening would be done before boarding the flights and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel. They will have to spend 14 days in either hospital centres or designated quarantine zones. The more vulnerable cases like pregnant women, elderly, people who are terminally ill will be given priority.
Indians with valid visas will be allowed to fly back to these countries in the same planes if they are permitted in their given country. Three ships have also been deployed- INS Shardul which was diverted to Dubai on Monday and INS Jalashwa which left with INS Magar for Maldives on Monday night.
India reported over 46,000 Coronavirus cases and 1,583 deaths from Coronavirus as on Tuesday.