India flagged off Vande Bharat Mission to repatriate stranded citizens in various countries on May 7 Credit: Representational image

New Delhi: India continued its massive repatriation operation on the third day by bringing back Indian stranded citizens home from various counties amid global COVID-19 pandemic lockdown.

Under the Vande Bharat Mission, the Centre is bringing hundreds of people stranded in seven countries owing to coronavirus pandemic by special flights of Air India on Saturday.

As per reports, four flights with stranded Indian nationals are arriving from Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka to Delhi at 3 pm, followed by a flight from Kuwait to Hyderabad at 6:30 pm, Oman’s Muscat to Cochin at 8:50 pm and from the UAE’s Sharjah to Lucknow at 8:50 pm tonight.

The remaining four flights are scheduled land from Kuwait to Kochi in Kerala at 9:15 pm, from Malaysia’s Kuala Lampur to Trichy at 9:40 pm, another from London to Mumbai at 1:30 am and from Qatar’s Doha to Cochin at 1:40 am, the reports said.

Upon their arrival, all the passengers must go through a mandatory thermal test and COVID-19 rapid test at the airport before allowing them to undergo customs and immigration check as precautionary measure to keep check of further spread of the disease in the region, the reports said.

The evacuees will be send to the institutional quarantine centres prepared by various state governments, the reports said.

Moreover, all international passengers will be charged for the journey and fares from the Gulf counties to Kerala range from Rs 15,000 to Rs 16,000. Rescue flights from London will cost Rs 50,000 and those from the US Rs 1,00,000 respectively.

Since May 7, India started its first phase of repatriation to Indian nationals stranded in various countries and the mission will continue till May 13 with an aim to bring at least 15,000 stranded citizens from 12 countries by 64 special Air India flights.

Countries like UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Bangladesh, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, the UK and the United States are involved in the first phase of its Vande Bharat Mission.

Second phase of evacuation will begin from May 15 and the stranded citizens will be repatriated from Russia and Germany, reports added.

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