Thursday, June 18, 2020

About 90,000 Indians to be repatriated from UAE with dozens more chartered and government flights cleared

About 90,000 Indians will be home by the month-end as dozens more chartered and government repatriation flights from the UAE have been approved.

More than 450,000 Indians have registered with the consulate in Dubai and embassy in Abu Dhabi to return to their families amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents have urged more flights and quicker repatriations as India gradually emerges from a strict two-month lockdown.

Planes chartered by companies and welfare groups in the UAE such as the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) have cleared the bulk of the numbers over the past few weeks.

“Starting from June 20 until June 30 we have loads of chartered flights as well as four Vande Bharat flights every day,” Vipul, India’s consul general in Dubai told The National.

“By the end of this month, I anticipate we will have sent 85,000, maybe 90,000 people.”

More than 80 chartered flights and at least 35 flights are expected on the Vande Bharat or Salute India mission on government carriers over the next 10 days.

According to the Johns Hopkins University tracker, India has confirmed 366,946 cases, 12,237 deaths and 194,325 recoveries.

The country had shut down international and domestic flights and suspended rail travel in March to slow the spread of the virus.

Different state governments have since announced varying guidelines on easing travel restrictions.

“These are difficult times and every state in India has different conditions so this is what we are struggling with,” Mr Vipul said.
18/06/20 National
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