India is planning to bring back as many as 15,000 Indians stranded in various Gulf and Western countries due to the worldwide lockdown. As per the plan put in place by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, total 64 flights will operate for seven days starting May 7 from overseas to airports in different states of India. Notably, all passengers will have to pay ticket fare for their return; a similar procedure was followed by countries who evacuated their citizens from India.
The official document suggests 15 such flights carrying Indians stuck abroad will land in Kerala; 11 in Delhi; 11 in Tamil Nadu; seven in Maharashtra; seven in Telangana; five in Gujarat; and three each in Karnataka, J&K; and one each in UP and Punjab.
The government has decided to evacuate citizens from the US, the UK, the Philippines, Singapore, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Bangladesh. The 'Flight Plan for the Return of Indian Nationals Stranded Abroad', accessed by CNBC TV 18, says 2,300 citizens will be brought on May 7; 2,050 on May 8; 2,050 on May 9; 1,850 on May 10; 2,200 on May 11; 2,500 on May 12; and 1,850 on May 13.
All standard procedures will be followed. Passengers will be screened before boarding flights and only those with no symptoms will be allowed to board. Upon arrival, they will be screened again and all of them will have to mandatorily download the Centre's Aarogya Setu app. All of them will be quarantined for 14 days. They will either stay in government hospitals or new facilities set up for quarantine purpose.
They will again be tested after 14 days of quarantine, and those showing no signs of COVID-19 will be allowed to go home after following the due procedure. Notably, the Centre has asked all states receiving such individuals to make arrangements for their testing, quarantine and other mandatory procedures.
Meanwhile, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country jumped to 46,433 on Tuesday, including 32,138 active cases, 12,726 recoveries, 1 migrated and 1,568 deaths. India registered a record-high number of 1,074 novel coronavirus recoveries in the last 24 hours but the government cautioned that the lockdown restrictions could be re-imposed if people did not follow the containment and social distancing rules.
Edited by Manoj Sharma