MHA Clears Way For Bringing Back 414 Goan Seafarers Stranded In Italy Since COVID-19 Pandemic Broke Out

MHA Clears Way For Bringing Back 414 Goan Seafarers Stranded In Italy Since COVID-19 Pandemic Broke OutRepresentative Image. (Rehman Abubakr/Wikimedia Commons)

In a major relief for 414 Indian seafarers from Goa who have been stranded in Italy, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has cleared that it has no objection to their return to the nation, reports WION.

The Indian seafarers, most of whom are ship crew members are likely to be brought back to the Indian soil on 20 May in three special chartered flights which will all land at Goa's Dabolim Airport.

Reacting to the development, Goa Chief Minister (CM) Dr Pramod Sawant expressed gratitude to the MHA and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). This comes as a major relief for the state, as more than 7,000 Goans working on ships are stranded across the world ever since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.

The special chartered flights to bring back the seafarers will be arranged by a Goa-based company called M/s Costa Cruise. The company would now need no-objection certificates from the competent authorities in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) and the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to bring back the seafarers.