13.74 lakh Indians have returned from abroad under Vande Bharat Mission: MEA

As many as 13.74 lakh Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the ‘Vande Bharat’ evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the Vande Bharat Mission Phase 6 became operational on September 1 and 1,007 international flights have been scheduled to operate during this month.

“We expect to repatriate over 2 lakh people,” he said at an online media briefing.

“As on 10 September, 13.74 lakh Indians have been repatriated through different modes of the Vande Bharat Mission viz. Air India, private and foreign carriers, chartered flights, naval ships and land border crossings,” Srivastava said.

Of these, 270 international flights have already been operated from GCC countries, Jordan, Afghanistan, Maldives, China, Thailand, US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Australia, he said.

Bilateral travel arrangements form the bulk of this phase with travel ‘bubble’ flight operations from 11 countries, he said.

The ministry continues to monitor the demand for repatriation through our mission and posts and “we are working with the airlines to ensure assistance”, he said.

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