In the first phase of the ambitious Vande Bharat Mission, national carrier Air India will operate 64-non-commercial flights to 12 countries.
India will begin the world’s largest ever repatriation mission on Thursday to bring back citizens stranded abroad due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
In the first phase of the ambitious Vande Bharat Mission, national carrier Air India will operate 64-non-commercial flights to 12 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain to bring back 15,000 Indians.
The first two flights from the UAE will take off carrying 177 passengers each on Thursday. The Abu Dhabi-Kochi flight will take off at 4.15pm and the Dubai-Kozhikode flight will take off at 5pm.
The returning Indians will have to pay for their flights as well as for a mandatory 14-day mandatory quarantine (details of repatriation flights).
Air India crew members on board the repatriation fights will don full protective gear, including PPE, to reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus, Khaleej Times has learnt.
Passengers will have to undergo medical screening before and after boarding the flights. They have also been asked to report at the terminal four hours before the departing time. No relatives or friends will be allowed at the departing lounge to see off passengers, Air India officials clarified.
Each passenger, at the time of boarding would be handed over a safety kit containing two three-layered face masks, two pairs of gloves and pouches/small bottles of hand sanitisers.
Once they reach Kerala, people will have to undergo a 7-day quarantine at a government facility. After a PCR test, those who test negative will be allowed to go home and undertake a week-long home quarantine. Those who test positive will be hospitalised.
Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.
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