Saturday, May 09, 2020

Karnataka readies to receive 6,100 foreign returnees soon

Bengaluru: Of the 10,823 stranded Karnataka citizens who registered to return to their home state from abroad, 6,100 would fly back soon, with the first batch of 1,200 arriving next week in some six flights to Bengaluru and Mangaluru, an official said.

"As per the information we have from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi, 10,823 residents of Karnataka have registered their names and other details in the Indian embassies and consulates in the countries they have been stranded since March 23, for returning to their home state at the earliest," Additional Chief Secretary Jawaid Akhtar told IANS here.

To prevent the coronavirus spread, the Indian government suspended all domestic and international flights since March 23 and banned overseas flights into the country due to the lockdown that was extended twice till May 17.

Of the 10,823 citizens, tourists and visitors are 4,408, students 3,074, migrants and professionals 2,784 and ship crew 557.

"The MEA, however, said of the 10,823 registered, 6,100 have been assessed to return early, with the first batch of 1,200 in 4 Air India flights to Bengaluru and 2 Air India Express flights to Mangaluru next week," said Akhtar.

Of the 6,100 citizens waiting to fly back, tourists and visitors are 2,380, students 1,660, migrants and professionals 1,503 and ship crew 557.

"Though we will prepare to quarantine all the 10,823 returnees in the coming weeks for the mandatory 14 days, we are making arrangements for the stay of 6,100 also waiting to return soon, while hotel rooms have been booked for the 1,200 flying back from May 11-15," said Akhtar.

Of the 6,100 in queue to fly back, 2,575 are from the UAE, 927 from Saudi Arabia and the US, 414 from Qatar, 328 from Canada and 929 from European and other countries.

According to the civil aviation ministry sources, which is organising the state-run Air India evacuation flights under the "Vande Bharat Mission", the first flight is likely to land in Bengaluru on May 11 from London (Britain), followed by second from Singapore on May 13, Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) on May 14 and San Francisco (US) on May 15 while two flights to Mangaluru from Dubai are scheduled to land on May 12 and Doha on May 13.

"As per the standard operating procedures of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, though only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to fly back, they will be screened on arrival at the airport for Covid symptoms and sent to hotels of their choice if they test negative and will be tested thrice during their 14-day quarantine period," asserted Akhtar.
09/05/20 IANS/Outlook

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