Pregnant women, elderly on board as India begins first phase of evacuation : The Tribune India

Pregnant women, elderly on board as India begins first phase of evacuation

Flight from Abu Dhabi lands at Kochi airport

Pregnant women, elderly on board as India begins first phase of evacuation

Indian nationals gather at the Dubai International Airport before leaving the Gulf Emirate on a flight back to their country, on May 7, 2020, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic crisis. AFP

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, May 7

India’s first phase of evacuating its stranded citizens got off on Thursday with two flights from Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The maiden flight from Abu Dhabi was delayed due to safety procedures which temporarily inconvenienced the passengers who had come to the airport several hours before the scheduled departure.

These flights are carrying back cases of extreme distress and on humanitarian grounds. The flight from Dubai, for instance, includes a group of 18 pregnant women, a dozen elderly and five infants who have been stranded at the airport for 50 days.

Also read NGO submits PIL asking Centre to use Indian Community Welfare Fund to rescue Indian workers stranded abroad

Indian diplomats said there were no Covid cases among the nearly 300 passengers in the first two flights. However, all of them will be quarantined on arrival at their own cost.

Apart from the pregnant and the elderly, others who made it to the flights were medical and loss of job cases.

The Indian missions have also wait-listed passengers on all the flights to replace passengers who may fail in the medical screening or has immigration issues.

India is sending 64 flights and two ships in the first phase of Vande Bharat Mission. One naval ship has already docked at Male and the other is due to bring back Indians from the Maldives who will have to pay their fare, the first time that the Indian armed forces will be charging for humanitarian services.

First flight from Abu Dhabi lands at Kochi

The first Air India Express flight carrying Indian citizens from Abu Dhabi landed at the Kochi airport on Thursday night.

The Air India Express flight IX 452, with 177 passengers and four infants, landed at the Cochin International Airport (CIAL) at 10.09 pm, an airline spokesman said.

Another Air India Express flight IX 344, carrying 177 passengers and five infants, from Dubai was expected to land at the Kozhikode International Airport at 10.45 pm, he said.

The evacuated citizens would be sent to the quarantine facilities set up by the administration in their respective districts, Kerala government officials said. With PTI

Tribune Shorts


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