The US has so far repatriated over 4,000 Americans from India and efforts are being made to bring back about 6,000 more from the country, a senior US official has said. The US Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 65,000 American citizens and family members from 122 countries on 687 flights so far. This includes over 1,000 US citizens from Pakistan.
"In India, we've already coordinated the repatriation of more than 4,000 US citizens. We have four more flights scheduled in the coming days," Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee told reporters at a press conference here on Wednesday. Brownlee said some 6,000 Americans are being repatriated from India in the coming days.
"Looking across the entire world, we're tracking the greatest number (of Americans) are still in South Central Asia, India and Pakistan. And the vast bulk of those are in India -- it's like 6,000 or so. (In) Western Hemisphere, we're tracking somewhere in the 4,000 range. Africa comes next with about 3,000," he said. Brownlee noted that getting people to New Delhi and Mumbai, the outbound hubs for those flights, is no small feat in the midst of a nationwide lockdown.
"But Mission India team is up to this challenge. They are actively coordinating with passengers arriving on feeder flights and buses from all across this huge country," he said. Referring to the Pakistan government's ban on internal travel, Brownlee said it has also posed "significant challenges for us". "All internal domestic flights are grounded and all ground transportation is banned for vehicles holding more than three people. Our team in Pakistan is making every effort to help people get to Islamabad and Karachi to board our repatriation flights and will continue to do so," he said.
Brownlee strongly encouraged US citizens in India, Pakistan and elsewhere to register at step.state.gov and also to monitor embassy websites carefully for the latest information on the special repatriation flights. "Consular sections around the world are consistently sending out detailed messages about the status of repatriation flights and local health conditions via STEP as well as through our embassy websites and social media accounts," he said.