Vastavam web: About 10.5 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 Friday. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said around 500 international flights are scheduled to be operated this month. Based on a continuous assessment of demand received from Indian missions and posts, flights have been added for repatriation from Armenia, Bangladesh, Japan, Israel, New Zealand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Ukraine, he said.
“In addition to the bilateral ”travel bubble” arrangement with the US, Germany and France, which are operational, the arrangement with the UK is scheduled to start from September 1,” Srivastava said. “Similar arrangements with others, including our neighbouring countries, are expected soon. Yesterday, we announced a travel bubble arrangement with the Maldives,” he said. On August 8, the Ministry of Civil Aviation launched an online portal called ”Air Suvidha”, which enables incoming passengers to apply online for exemption from institutional quarantine, he said.