Preparations underway for third phase of repatriation of Indians from across globe

Phase I has been successfully completed from 7 May -16 May during which 16,716 stranded Indians returned. “We are in the Phase II of VBM from 17 May – 13 June,” according to MEA spokesperson.

Vande Bharat Mission: 45K Indian nationals evacuated so far, preparations underway for third phase of repatriation
NEW DELHI: India’s Vande Bharat Mission (VBM) executed by the Ministry of External Affairs to repatriate citizens is in full swing.

Phase I has been successfully completed from 7 May -16 May during which 16,716 stranded Indians returned. “We are in the Phase II of VBM from 17 May – 13 June,” according to MEA spokesperson.

“As of 4.00 pm Thursday, 45,216 Indians have returned. These include 8,069 migrant workers, 7,656 students and 5,107 professionals. About 5000 Indians have returned through land border immigration checkpoints from Nepal and Bangladesh. A total number of 3,08,200 persons have registered their request with our Missions abroad for repatriation to India on compelling grounds,” informed the spokesperson.


During the Phase II, a total of 429 Air India flights (311 international flights + 118 feeder flights) from 60 countries are scheduled to land in India. The Indian Navy will be making four more sorties to bring back returnees from Iran, Sri Lanka and the Maldives.

The MEA is also assisting return of stranded Indians from remote locations in Latin America and Caribbean, Africa, and parts of Europe. This is being done by taking advantage of foreign carriers flying to India primarily for evacuation of their nationals. Recently, about 300 stranded Indians from Peru, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Portugal and Netherlands were brought in. “We will be exploring more such options,” according to MEA spokesperson.

Private airlines have now been included as part of Phase II of Vande Bharat Mission. Chartered flights have also begun to operate and return of our nationals through land borders has commenced. The numbers are expected to go up in the coming days with the permission for chartered flights and more efficient use of quarantine capacity, according to MEA.
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MEA is working in close coordination with its Missions abroad as well as various stakeholders - State Governments, MHA, MOHFW, MOCA, DMA, Air India and the Indian Navy - for these repatriation efforts. MEA has designated Additional Secretary level officers to coordinate with State Governments on quarantine and other logistic issues.

On 26 May, External Affairs Minister had a detailed review meeting of all stakeholders. The focus of the meeting was to ramp up the scale of Vande Bharat Mission and to enhance its efficiency.

MEA COVID-19 Control Room is being manned 24x7 by teams from MEA since 16 March. The control room has received more than 22,500 calls and 60,000 emails till 0800 h on 28 May.
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