India is all set to evacuate stranded Indians from abroad with its mammoth operation, the Vande Bharat Mission, with its first phase having been started on the 7th of May. The evacuation scheme involves sending commercial passenger jets and Indian Navy warships in order to bring stranded Indians from a dozen countries including Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia, Germany, Spain and Thailand.
Over 1500 stranded Indians, due to the novel coronavirus outbreak, have been repatriated on Sunday, the 10th of May, which was the fourth day of the mega mission initiated by the government. The Vande Bharat Mission’s first phase will witness around 15,000 stranded Indians being brought back home on 64 flights. On the other hand, three naval ships have begun Operation Samudra Setu. Under this operation more Indian nationals, who are stranded abroad due to the corona virus triggered lockdown, will be brought back home.
However, this process of evacuating the stranded Indians from abroad has its own threats and fears. This fear shall always be alive that the Indian nationals, that are being brought back to their homes in India, might contribute to the spread of novel coronavirus in the country. Although the government is taking precautions for the same. The Government has said that only those people shall be allowed to return to their families who have no sign of infection and that they should undergo a 14 days quarantine on arrival in the country.
There has already been an instance where five novel coronavirus cases have been detected amongst 363 stranded Indians from Abu Dhabi and Dubai. They were repatriated via Air India flights that landed in Kerala’s Kochi on Sunday, the 10th of May.
“Our fellow Indians have to be brought back but it is unfortunate that internationally followed protocols are not being followed.”, complained Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in a writing to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week.
Altogether, the government will be bringing back stranded Indian nationals from the UAE, the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Qatar, Malaysia, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Oman, the Maldives, Dubai and Bahrain. The list of countries shall also include Russia, Germany, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Spain and Thailand starting from Monday, the 11th of May.