The Indian government announced that it will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner.
A Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) has been prepared and travel would be arranged by aircraft and naval ships.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs had last month prepared a detailed exit plan presentation for bringing back Indian nationals to the country after the global lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The presentation was showed to top government officials. Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla laid out an elaborate plan on how the ministry plans to bring home Indian nationals — with an exact count of who is where and how many flights it would take from each country to various states in India.
Indian Embassies and High Commissions are preparing a list of distressed Indian citizens. The return facility would be made available on a payment-basis, the government announced, with non-scheduled commercial flights arranged for air travel beginning in a phased manner from May 7.
"Medical screening of passengers would be done before taking the flight. Only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel. During the journey, all these passengers would have to follow the protocols, such as the Health Protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation," the release stated.
The government said that everyone would have to register on the Aarogya Setu app on reaching India and they would be medically screened and quarantined for 14 days, either in a hospital or in an institutional quarantine on payment-basis, set up by state governments. A COVID test would be done after 14 days and further action would be taken according to health protocols.
State Governments are being advised to make arrangements, including for testing, quarantine and onward movement of the returning Indians in their respective states.
The Ministries of External Affairs and Civil Aviation will share detailed information about the plan through their websites, the statement added.