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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 29 October 2020 7.56 PM IST

Over 15 lakh Indians have returned from abroad under Vande Bharat mission: MEA

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NEW DELHI: As many as 15.42 lakh Indians have returned from abroad after the government launched the 'Vande Bharat' evacuation mission on May 7 in view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said phase six of the mission has been ongoing since September 1. As on September 22, he said, 630 international flights and 142 feeder flights have been operated from 24 countries which have reached 24 airports across India under this phase.

An estimated 1,24,000 people have been repatriated under the sixth phase of the mission, he said.

"As on September 23, 15.42 lakh Indians have been repatriated through different modes of this mission," Srivastava said.

The sixth phase will continue to be operational till September 30, he said.

"The air suvidha digital platform which has been made available for all arriving international passengers since August 8... essentially allows exemption from institutional quarantine for incoming passengers on the Vande Bharat mission flights," he said.

"This service has been made available in response to a long pending demand of passengers for exemption from institutional quarantine on the basis of their RT PCR test. It has helped to reduce passenger processing time on arrival," Srivastava said.

On the status of the 'air bubble' arrangement with Bangladesh, he said, "We have offered air bubble arrangement to Bangladesh as we have offered to our other neighbours. We have already something with Maldives and Afghanistan. The matter is presently under discussion."

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