The Union government has worked out a comprehensive plan to evacuate the Non-Resident Indians stranded in various countries due to suspension of flights in view of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The evacuation is likely to will start on Thursday with two flights from the UAE transporting 409 passengers to Kerala.
Three vessels belonging to the Indian Navy on Monday night will also be for the evacuation operation.
While two vessels INS Jalaswa and warfare vessel INS Magar set sail for the Maldives, another vessel INS Shardul attached to Southern Naval Command is headed to Dubai.
The Ministry for Civil Aviation has released a detailed schedule for the evacuation of NRIs from various countries. At least 64 flights will be operated aiming to bring 15000 Indians from May 7 to May 14.
The first flight carrying 209 passengers from Abu Dhabi in the UAE will touch down at Cochin International Airport on May 7. Another flight will transport 200 passengers from Dubai to Kozhikode in Kerala on the same day.
The Ministry of Home Affairs announced yesterday (May 4) that it will facilitate the return of asymptomatic Indian nationals stranded abroad from May 7 onwards, in a phased manner, through aircraft and naval ships on a payment basis.
PTI reported quoting officials that between May 7 and 13, India is likely to conduct 10 flights to the UAE, seven flights each to the US and the UK, five to Saudi Arabia, five to Singapore and two flights to Qatar
It is also likely to conduct seven flights each to Malaysia and Bangladesh, five each to Kuwait and Philippines, two each to Oman and Bahrain, the officials noted.
Out of the 64 repatriation flights, 15 would be from Kerala, 11 each would be from Delhi and Tamil Nadu, seven each would be from Maharashtra and Telangana, and remaining flights would be from five other states, the officials said.
"Approximately 14,800 Indian nationals are likely to return to the country through these 64 flights during the seven-day period. The government will run more repatriation flights after May 13," one of the officials said.
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