60,000 foreign nationals evacuated from India, UK announces more charter flights
The ambassadors have thanked the ministry for its role in helping the evacuating of foreign nationals from all parts of India despite challenges of logistics during the lockdown, said external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava.Updated: Apr 30, 2020, 21:56 IST
About 60,000 foreign nationals from 72 countries have been evacuated from India on special flights amid the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, with the UK on Thursday announcing plans to fly back another 2,000 stranded British travellers.
Secretaries in the external affairs ministry have been interacting via video conference with groups of ambassadors based in Delhi to discuss ways to fight the pandemic, the welfare of stranded Indians around the world and the evacuation of foreign nationals from India.
The ambassadors have thanked the ministry for its role in helping the evacuating of foreign nationals from all parts of India despite challenges of logistics during the lockdown, said external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava. “About 60,000 foreign nationals from 72 countries have been evacuated,” he told a virtual media briefing.
The UK said there would be seven charter flights in May to take more than 2,000 stranded British travellers home. These flights will take the total number of chartered flights so far to 59 and once they are completed, more than 15,000 British travellers will have been evacuated from India.
A statement from the UK high commission said the seven flights would be operated from Amritsar to London on May 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
The UK minister of state for South Asia and the Commonwealth, Tariq Ahmad, said: “Our charter programme has already helped more than 10,000 British travellers return home from India by ensuring flights to the UK have run every day since April 8…I would like to thank the government of India for their help in making it happen.”
This is the fifth round of charter flights organised by the UK for Britons stranded in India. The UK government allocated £75 million for special charter flights to priority countries such as India, with the focus on helping the most vulnerable people.