India repatriates 814,000 citizens stranded abroad

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NEW DELHI

The Indian government has repatriated 814,000 citizens stranded abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic since May, the country’s civil aviation minister said on Sunday.

“More than 814K stranded Indians have returned through various means under VBM [Vande Bharat Mission] since 6 May 2020, out of which more than 270K returned on flights from 53 countries. Now we prepare to dovetail Phase-4 of VBM into Phase-5 from 1st August 2020 & bring back more Indian citizens,” Hardeep Singh Puri said on Twitter.

After the COVID-19 pandemic started this year, the international flight operations suspended globally.

The Indian government in May launched an operation dubbed Vande Bharat Mission to evacuate citizens stranded in many countries due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The government had said “it came as a much needed relief to the Indians abroad and to their near and dear at home.”

“Among other destinations, Ph-5 will connect India with USA, Canada, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Singapore, UK, Frankfurt, Paris, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, New Zealand, Philippines & more. Like we did earlier, more destinations & flights will be added as this phase progresses,” Puri said.

“Details about ticket bookings will be shared by @airindiain @FlyWithIX & other airlines shortly. It is our earnest effort to reach out to every stranded & distressed Indian & facilitate their evacuation & outbound travel. I request you to kindly exercise patience & bear with us,” he added.

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