COVID .. India to airlift stranded people in Gulf etc; starting with Dubai; warships too to be used

NEW DELHI: India will start airlifting of stranded Indians, first from the city of Dubai in the UAE, as part of the relief efforts in the context of the Covid-19 outbreak and the weeks-long lockdown here as also abroad. Warships will also be deployed to get back those who are keen on an immediate return to their homeland, official sources said on Friday evening. The schedules will be announced soon.
While the first such flight will take off from Dubai, flights will also be operated from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, and later from some other cities. Kerala will receive the first batch of returnees, as the state government has made elaborate arrangements for their quarantine, local movement etc after they get down from the flights or ships. This, will, thus act as a test case for the Centre and other states as to how to handle the related situations.
Over three lakh people from Kerala, living and working or on various short visit programmes, have registered with its state level NRK agency to return to the state at the earliest. Some 55,000 of them are returning as they have lost their jobs and visas got cancelled thus.
The present plan of the Centre is to airlift and/or ship altogether about two lakh people from abroad to various states. IHN-NN
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