According to an estimate, the number of Indian nationals stranded overseas could be in lakhs.
Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told reporters: "How we ramp up operations after the first week depends on factors like our experience of the first week - the states' readiness to receive people on these flights in terms of quarantine centres and hospitals, and the behaviour of the virus". A ticket for Chicago-Delhi-Hyderabad flight will cost about Rs 1 lakh, he added. Most of the infections are in the Gulf and Singapore.
The evacuation will be carried out in phases, said a press release from the Ministry of Home Affairs on Monday.
Citizens hoping to be repatriated in the first phase would strictly be on a payment basis.
Indian Naval Ships Jalashwa and Magar are presently en-route to the port of Male to evacuate Indians from the Maldives.
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Clubs in England and Germany have already reopened their training centres, while the French league was cancelled last week. Cologne said they would not confirm any names out of respect for the privacy of the individuals involved.
As per reports, the central government is considering operating Air India flights to bring back Indians stranded overseas during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Indian community leaders in the United States welcomed the move of the Indian government. "It could be 4 lakh". "Priority will be given to urgent medical cases, pregnant women, people in distress, senior citizens and those who are stranded in hard situations". India will ramp up flights gradually based on the experience of the first week of operations. "We look forward to working closely with the UAE authorities to make this process as smooth and efficient as we can".
After the Embassy of India, Abu Dhabi and the Consulate General of India, Dubai announced that stranded expatriates and visitors in the UAE wishing to return home need to fill out an online form, almost 200,000 Indians registered.
The immediate focus of the multi-agency operation christened "Vande Bharat Mission" will be to bring back Indians from the Gulf, countries in the neighbourhood as well as from the United States, the UK and Singapore. "The exchequer does not have the space to pay for repatriation", Puri also said.
Passengers to be charged on repatriation flights. Inflight entertainment systems will not be operational to minimise contact with surfaces.
India will operate charter flights to repatriate its citizens, beginning this Thursday, May 7th. Nearly all worldwide airlines operating repatriation flights have also done so as the idea is to get as many people home as possible. And with masks mandatory, keeping middle seats vacant on such flights may not be necessary.
The conditions, if any, imposed by the destination country, will have to be fulfilled by the person intending to travel, the home ministry said. Subsequently, a few flights will land at Delhi.
Also, the returning Indians "would be quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, by the concerned State government".