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India


Over 5 lakh Indians repatriated under Vande Bharat Mission: Govt

Over 5 lakh Indians repatriated under Vande Bharat Mission: Govt

New Delhi, Jul 3 (UNI) Over five lakh Indians stranded overseas due to COVID-19 pandemic lockdown have been repatriated under the Vande Bharat Mission since it began on May 7.

In less than two months, a total of 5,03,990 stranded Indians have returned from 137 countries, including from remote areas, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Friday.

“Considering that the initial target to bring stranded Indians with compelling reasons was only two lakh, this is a significant achievement,” it said.

Kerala received the largest number of stranded Indians (94,085), followed by Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh.

The largest number of stranded Indians returned by Vande Bharat Mission flights from the United Arab Emirates (57,305), followed by Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the US.

Another 91,193 Indians returned from Nepal through land border check posts, while 95,220 returned through land border check posts with other neighbouring countries.

Vande Bharat Mission has so far involved 860 Air India flights, 1,256 charter flights and repatriation missions by eight naval ships.

The number of stranded Indians who have returned by Air India flights so far is 1,64,121, while Indian Navy repatriated another 3,987 Indians from the Maldives, Iran and Sri Lanka.

Chartered flights brought back 2,30,832 people and foreign carriers brought back 3,969 people. About 60 people returned in air ambulances.

This massive operation was carried out with the support and cooperation of Indian missions abroad, the civil aviation, home and health ministries and state governments.

The external affairs ministry designated senior officers to coordinate with states to ensure the operations were carried out smoothly at all levels.

UNI ASH PS 2328

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