EVACUATIONS … India to operate 64 flights through one week from May 7 to bring in stranded natives

NEW DELHI: India will operate as many as 64 flights to bring home 14,000 Indians stranded abroad, the government announced here on Tuesday. Most of these flights will be operated by Air India while some private airlines and the IAF too will be drawn in for the mammoth exercise, reaching up to the Gulf, the US and Europe. The operations will be spread over a week from May 7.

Medical screening will be done before the passengers are taken to the planes. Asymptomatic passengers will only be allowed in. Passengers will have to follow all the health-related protocols, and they will have to go into quarantine for a period once they get out of the airport. State governments have been advised to make the necessary arrangements.

Nearly 15,000 Indians from about 15 countries will be flow back in the first phase of the operations. India had suspended its normal flight operations up until May 17, the present deadline for the nationwide lockdown. Some 10 flights will operate on the first day, May 7. They will bring back some 2,300 persons. Flights will take a maximum of 300 persons to ensure proper distancing between passengers in the planes.

There will be in all 10 flights to the UAE, five to Saudi Arabia, five to Kuwait, two to Qatar, two to Oman and two to Bahrain, besides seven each to the US and UK, five to Singapore, five to Philippines, and some flights to Bangladesh and Malaysia.

The fares for Gulf evacuations are in the range of Rs 13,000 to Rs 16,000. Evacuations from distant places like the US would cost $1,300 per person. Flights from the UK, or London, will charge 500 pounds per person.

The quarantine period will be for 14 days after arrival in India, and the state governments will take care of this part. There will be test before passengers board the plane to check whether they are affected by Covid. If so, they will not be allowed in.

Priority will be given to pregnant women, the elderly, children, and ailing persons requiring medical attention in India. Those who faced family bereavement will also be helped. Those who lost jobs will also get priority in travel.

Ships are also being deployed to bring back stranded Indians from various places abroad.  IHN-NN

INDIA HERE AND NOW http://www.indiahereandnow.com email:indianow999@gmail.com

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