New Delhi/Srinagar/ Kozhikode: Over 550 stranded Indians, including medical students, 84 pregnant women, 22 children and 4 infants were brought back home on Friday from Bangladesh, Singapore and Saudi Arabia in three Air India aircraft as part of the government’s mega repatriation mission Vande Bharat.
The first flight from Singapore landed at the Delhi airport at 11.45 am with 234 passengers, senior officials said.
Within a couple of hours, the second flight with 167 students arrived at Srinagar airport from Dhaka. At 8pm on Friday, an AI flight from Riyadh landed at the Karipur airport in Kozhikode, carrying 153 passengers.
The Govt of India on Monday had said Air India will operate 64 flights till May 13 to bring back around 15,000 Indians stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown.
After the returnees reached IGI airport, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal said all arrangements have been made for the Indians coming from other countries. “Delhi govt has made all arrangements for the Indians arriving from abroad,” he tweeted.
All the arriving passengers were put through screening and triaging to find out any infection of coronavirus.
After immigration and customs formalities, they headed towards paid quarantines where they will spend 14 days, before going home.
Officials in Srinagar said the 167 medical students underwent screening at the airport before they were sent to administrative quarantine for a period of 14 days as mandated under the guidelines issued for curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Srinagar Deputy Commissioner Shahid Iqbal Chaudhary expressed his gratitude to the Indian High Commission in Dhaka for the "tremendous efforts" in getting these students home.
Two flights had landed at Kochi and Kozhikode on Thursday from Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively. Another flight took off from Bahrain with 177 passengers and 5 infants and was to reach Kochi by 11.30 pm.
Sources said in the Riyadh flight, five persons had some health issues and they were to be shifted to Manjeri and Kozhikode medical college hospitals. Ten passengers from neighbouring Karnataka and Tamil Nadu travelled.