AGENCIES, New Delhi: The Foreign Ministry, along with Civil Aviation Ministry and state governments are preparing a detailed exit plan to bring back Indian nationals to the country after the lockdown eases.
Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba took the first step as part of this exercise on Friday, telling state governments to earmark hospital beds and quarantine zones for the Indian nationals stuck abroad who will be brought back in special flights after the national lockdown ends.
According to sources, Indian foreign secretary Harshvardhan Shringla has written to all chief secretaries asking them to make preparations for Indians who will be repatriated in the coming weeks.
“The priority is to bring back Indian nationals from the Gulf countries first and then repatriate nationals from other nations. We would be repatriating citizens depending on the size of the diaspora in a particular Gulf nation and the urgency of a particular case,” said an official.
All flight operations – domestic and international – have been suspended during the lockdown. India has brought several citizens stuck abroad before the implementation of the lockdown.
According to government sources over 3,336 Indians spread across 53 countries are suffering from COVID-19 and over 2,061 are in Gulf countries alone. Twenty five Indian nationals abroad have died due to coronavirus.