More than 60,000 Indians have been repatriated through flights operated by Air India or chartered flights of other airlines under the Vande Bharat Mission launched on May 7 to repatriate Indians stranded in the UAE due to Covid-19 situation.
UAE Minister of Health Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed Al Owais has stressed that no case of Coronavirus infection was found in the UAE and that all necessary precautions have been taken to protect the country from the disease.
The coronavirus has now infected more people in China than were sickened in the country by the SARS outbreak in 2002-2003. The virus has killed 170 people. The number of confirmed cases jumped to 7,711, surpassing the 5,327 in mainland China from SARS.
At the initial stage, the flights will only operate from Gulf countries and after the safe repatriation of Pakistanis stranded there, those from other countries will be brought back as well, the officials said.
In a statement by the airline on Thursday, flights can be booked on emirates website or via travel agents, Emirates sales office and contact centre. Passengers will be required to comply with all requirements of the destination country.
The government announced a halt to domestic flights on March 23, ordering commercial airlines to shut down domestic operations on top of an existing ban on international flights to try and contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Those holding valid residency visas should apply online and they will be sent flight details once arranged, SPA reported the interior ministry as saying.
The carrier has made similar deals with the pilots’ and engineers’ unions. But 10 days ago, cabin crew voted against the proposals by a majority of 73:27.
So far the group has arranged about a dozen flights to various Indian cities including Gaya, Lucknow, Varanasi, Jaipur and Kolkata. Latest flight was operated on Saturday to Gaya in Bihar.