Centre Planning to Airlift Indians Stranded Abroad Post Lockdown, Begins Consultation With States

Ghughuti Bulletin


New Delhi: The Centre is planning to bring back Indian nationals stranded abroad once the May 3 lockdown ends, top government sources have said, amid demands from various states.

The government is reportedly in touch with all states to seek details of their citizens abroad and is likely to announce the final plan soon.

The Centre is likely to tell states to arrange quarantine facilities for the citizens so that they don’t mix with the locals. Authorities will map citizens to their respective states and flights will directly land there. Officials in the PMO have already spoken to some chief ministers for the arrangements and they have promised all help.

In what is touted to be the biggest airlift, Indian missions abroad are already working on the plan and are in touch with local authorities for help in movement after May 3 when the lockdown ends.

India imposed one of the most stringent lockdowns in the world to arrest the spread of novel coronavirus, barring movement of flights and trains. There have been demands from various states to bring back their nationals stranded abroad and the government had indicated earlier that such movement would be given a relook once phase 2 of the lockdown ends.

Earlier, sources had asserted that the Indian government is constantly keeping track of the stranded Indians and are in touch with the governments where Indians are residing to help and accommodate them till the government decides to airlift them.

India’s total Covid-19 cases crossed the 26,000-mark on Sunday, with the death toll jumping to 824. Of the total 26,496 cases, 19,868 are active while 5,803 have been cured.

The novel coronavirus has led to over 2 lakh deaths worldwide while infections are likely to cross 30 lakh in the coming days. More than half of the fatalities have been reported in the United States, Spain and Italy.

The first death linked to the disease was reported on January 10 in Wuhan, China. It took 91 days for the death toll to pass 1,00,000 and a further 16 days to reach 2,00,000, according to the Reuters tally of official reports from governments.

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