OVER 550 stranded Indians, including medical students, were brought back home on Friday from Bangladesh, Singapore and Riyadh in three Air India aircraft as part of the Government’s mega repatriation mission Vande Bharat.
The first flight from Singapore landed at the Delhi airport around 11.45 am with 234 passengers, senior officials said.
Within a couple of hours, the second special flight with 167 students arrived at the Srinagar airport from Dhaka. The third flight from Riyadh landed at the Karipur airport carrying153 passengers,including 84 pregnant women, 22 children and 4 infants.
The Indian Government on Monday had announced phased repatriation from May 7 of its citizens stranded abroad. It said that Air India will operate 64 flights till May 13 to bring back around 15,000 Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown.
After the returnees reached IGI airport, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that all arrangements have been made for the Indians coming from other countries.
All the arriving passengers were put through screening and triaging to find out any infection of coronavirus. After immigration and Customs formalities, they headed towards paid quarantine facilities where they will spend 14 days, before going home.
Officials in Srinagar said that the 167 medical students underwent screening at the airport before they were sent to administrative quarantine for a period of 14 days as mandated under the guidelines issued for curbing the spread of COVID-19. Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary expressed his gratitude to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka for the “tremendous efforts” in getting these students home.
The High Commission of India in Bangladesh had launched a dedicated link on its website for the registration for Indians wishing to return home. High Commissioner Riva Ganguly Das interacted with the students at the airport as they prepared to complete the formalities to fly back home.