Kashmir Indepth

Centre begins its flight operations for people stranded overseas ‘Two Air India flights bring back over 360 people from UAE’

Ishtiyaq Ahmad

Srinagar, May 08 (KINS): With a strict set of preconditions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the central government has launched its massive flight operations to bring back stranded citizens stuck in various parts of the world.

In a first, two special Air India flights carrying over 360 stranded Indians nationals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) landed in Kerala last night. “The week long operation was started yesterday. Two Air India Flights bring back over 360 people from UAE. Now at least 62 flights are expected to bring around 14700 Indian citizens home from 12 countries,” one of the top officials in the civil aviation ministry told news agency KINS.

He said this is the part of India’s massive exercise named as “Vande Bharat Mission” to bring back its citizens stuck in different parts of the world in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The official said that the first flight from Abu Dhabi, capital of the UAE, landed at Kochi International Airport at 10:13 pm yesterday. It had 181 passengers on board while as the second flight from Dubai with 182 passengers landed at Kozhikode International Airport at 10:32 pm.

The official further told KINS that extensive preparations have been made to ensure the Covid-19 evacuation protocol at the airports.
According to plan the passengers barring pregnant women and children and elders, were taken to be shifted to various quarantine centres after conducting COVID-19 PCR tests at the airport.

The government has made elaborate arrangements for transportation to respective quarantine centers and stay.

The official said that the overall plan involves key ministries of the central government.

“Minister for state (independent charge) civil aviation Hardeep Puri outlined the air operation; the ministry of home affairs came out with a set of standard operating procedures that all passengers who avail the facility will have to abide by; and the ministry of external affairs coordinated with foreign governments as well as ministries and state governments within”.(KINS)

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