On Tuesday, senior government officials said that the Central government will be likely to bring back 14,800 Indian nationals via 64 flights which will operate from May 7 to 13. These Indian nationals were stranded abroad because of the coronavirus lockdown.
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India imposed the first phase of lockdown on March 25 and, now it has been extended till May 17, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. During this lockdown along with railways, all commercial passenger flights have been suspended.
Officials said that the Air India will be operating the special flights meant to rescue the stranded Indian nationals abroad and its subsidiary, Air India Express to repatriate Indians from twelve countries which are the UAE, the UK, the US, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Bahrain.
On Monday, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that it will facilitate the return of asymptomatic Indian nationals who were stranded abroad from May 7 onwards, in a phased manner, on a payment basis via aircraft and naval ships.
As reported by PTI, officials told them that India is likely to send flights between May 7 and 13. Ten flights will be sent to the UAE, seven flights each to the US and the UK, five to Saudi Arabia, five to Singapore, and two flights to Qatar.
The officials also said that most probably seven flights will be conducted each to Malaysia and Bangladesh, five each to Kuwait and Philippines, two each to Oman and Bahrain.
The officials said that out of the total 64 repatriation flights, 15 would be from Kerala, 11 each would be from Delhi and Tamil Nadu, seven each would be from Telangana and Maharashtra, and remaining flights would be from five other states.
One of the officials said that during this seven day period, around 14,800 Indian nationals are likely to return to the country through these 64 flights. He further told that the government will be running more repatriation flights after May 13.
So far, in India, the coronavirus has infected more than 46,400 people and killed around 1,560 people.