NEW DELHI: The Union government will facilitate the return of Indians stranded abroad and the process will begin from May 7 in a phased manner.
Repatriation starts from Gulf
Tens of thousands of Indians are living in the Gulf countries and there has been growing anxiety among them over their livelihood in view of the pandemic as it has majorly impacted the oil-driven economy of the region.
According to Hindustan Times reports, government officials told that the first phase would cover as many as 1,900,000 people. And the repatriation plan for stranded Indian will start from the Gulf countries.
The evacuation of distressed citizens will begin from United Arab Emirates, home to 3.4 million Indians, and move next to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
In a statement, the Home Ministry said only asymptomatic people would be allowed to travel and it would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships, and the facility will be available on a payment basis.
After their arrival in India, medical examination will be conducted on everyone and they will be subsequently put under quarantine for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional facility, the ministry said
“The government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner. The travel would begin from May 7,” it said
The government has prepared the standard operating protocol (SOP), and the Indian embassies and high commissions are preparing a list of distressed citizens, according to the ministry
“This facility would be made available on payment-basis. Non-scheduled commercial flights would be arranged for air travel,” it said
Register on Arogya Setu app
Medical screening of passengers will be done before taking the flight and only asymptomatic passengers will be allowed to travel. During the journey, they will have to follow the protocols, such as the health protocols issued by the Health Ministry and the Civil Aviation Ministry, it said
“On reaching the destination, everyone would have to register on the Arogya Setu app,” the Home Ministry said
“Everyone would be medically screened. After scrutiny, they would be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned state government,” it said
COVID-19 tests will be done after 14 days and further action would be taken according to health protocols, the statement said
The Ministries of External Affairs and Civil Aviation will soon share detailed information about it through their websites, it said
“The state governments are being advised to make arrangements, including for testing, quarantine and onward movement of the returning Indians in their respective states,” the ministry said
India banned arrival of international flights beginning March 23. The 21-day lockdown was first announced by PM Modi on March 24 in a bid to combat the the novel coronavirus pandemic. It was first extended till May 3 and then again till May 17.