While over 14,800 Indians are stranded in 13 countries amid the lockdown due to COVID19 pandemic, India is gearing up for the world’s largest evacuation exercise.
Officials said the Indians stranded abroad will be brought back in phases by air and by sea from Thursday.
As per the plan, the Indians will be brought back by 64 flights in the first week, MEA officials said.
Three war ships of the Indian Navy have already set sail for West Asia and the Maldives for the evacuation exercise.
Each flight will bring back 200 to 300 passengers, and will ensure that social distancing is maintained.
Before boarding the special flights, the passengers will be checked for fever, cough, diabetes or any respiratory disease.
Only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel.
On Thursday, 10 flights will bring back 2,300 Indians from the US, Oman, Bahrain, Philippines, Singapore, Bangladesh, UAE, UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Singapore and Kuwait.
On Friday, around 2,050 Indians will arrive from nine different countries, the MEA officials said.
MEA officials are in constant touch with the Indian Missions across the globe for the evacuation mission.
On Saturday, more than 2,000 people will arrive from the Middle East, Europe, South East Asia and the US.
The officials said on Sunday, about 1,850 stranded nationals from eight different countries, including the US, UK and UAE.
The three Indian Navy ships — INS Jalashwa, INS Shardul and INS Magar have already steamed into the Arabian Sea for the mission.
INS Jalashwa is the largest of the war ships, and can evacuate about 1,000 people, while maintaining social distancing.
INS Shardul and INS Magar will have a carrying capacity of around 300 passengers, the officials said.