Vande Bharat mission: Second batch of Indians to come back from Bangladesh today
India’s massive repatriation operation to bring back stranded Indians in the wake of coronavirus crisis began on Thursday. On the first day, Nnational carrier Air India and its subsidiary Air India Express operated flights to UAE and Singapore from Cochin, Kozhikode and New Delhi.
The first flight of the mission, carrying 181 people from Abu Dhabi, landed in Kochi around 10 pm on Thursday. The second flight with 182 passengers from Dubai landed in Kozhikode roughly 20 minutes later.
As the passengers disembarked from the flight, many were seen wiping tears.
These were the first of 64 flights that the two airlines will operate from May 7-13 to bring back 14,800 stranded Indians from 12 countries.
Another Air India flight from Bangladesh is coming to India on Friday. A student, who is coming back to India form Bangladesh, thanked the Indian embassy. “I highly appreciate the efforts that they have made. I was given alk the help,” the student is heard saying in a video posted on Twitter by the Indian embassy in Bangladesh moments before he board the flight.
“Today, we are preparing to send home our students stranded in Bangladesh. The 1st Air India flight from Dhaka will take them home to Srinagar on 8/5/20. There are more flights being readied as well,” the embassy tweeted on Friday morning.
Besides the one-way ferry service, Air India has also invited passengers, who qualify under the government’s new international travel norms, to apply for passage from India to various destinations. The airline will send its aircraft to conduct evacuation flights.
According to government norms, the evacuated citizens will be sent to institutional quarantine facilities set up by various state governments.
Pregnant women, people needing immediate treatment, those returning to attend ceremonies connected to death of a close relative, aged people needing continuous assistance and children under 10 years will be permitted to go to their houses, where they will be under strict home quarantine (self-isolation) for 14 days, officials said.
India has been under lockdown since March 25 to curb the coronavirus pandemic.
All domestic and international commercial passenger flights have been suspended during the three phase lockdown which began on March 25 and will continue till May 17.