Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Goans in the UAE seek direct repatriation flights to their state

Dubai: Stranded Indians from Goa have sought direct repatriation flights to their state in India.
Hundreds of them from the country’s southwestern coast have registered with Indian missions in the UAE to return home under the ambitious Vande Bharat Mission. But they don’t want to land in any other state other than their own for health and safety reasons.
Goa is India’s first state to be declared a “green zone” with no active cases of coronavirus.
However, Dabolim Airport, the sole international airport in the state, does not figure on the list of 14 airports where 64 flights from 12 countries, including the UAE, will land in the first week of the repatriation programme.
Goans told Gulf News they don’t won’t to go elsewhere.
“Most destination airports are located in highly infected cities. Mumbai, for instance, falls under the “red zone” with over 13,500 cases and 500 deaths. We don’t want to fly there,” said Dubai-based Sayeed Imran, who is coordinating efforts to repatriate Goans.
“Aside from the risk of contracting the virus, we are also staring at the prospect of being quarantined hundreds of kilometres away from our homes. There are pregnant women, besides several elderly people with health issues on the list,” said Imran who has formed a WhatsApp chat group of UAE-based Goans wanting to repatriate. There are 150 people on the list already.
12/05/20 Mazhar Farooqui/Gulf News
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