Indian embassy in China asks stranded nationals to approach it to return home

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The Indian embassy here on Wednesday asked all Indian nationals stranded in China due to the coronavirus travel restrictions to get in touch with it if they wish to return home but made it clear that priority will be given to people in distress, including migrant workers, elderly, pregnant women and students.

On Monday, the Indian government announced plans to begin phased repatriation of its citizens stranded abroad from May 7.

Air India will operate 64 flights from May 7 to May 13 to bring back around 15,000 Indian nationals stranded abroad amid the COVID-19-induced lockdown, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said in New Delhi on Tuesday.

“It has been decided by the Government of India to facilitate the return of Indian nationals stranded outside the country to India in a phased manner,” a notice on the embassy’s website said.

The cost of this travel will be borne by respective travellers and priority will be given to compelling cases in distress including migrant workers/labourers who have been laid off, short term visa holders whose visa has expired, persons with medical emergency/pregnant women/elderly, students and those required to return to India due to death of a family member, it said.

All Indian citizens desirous of returning to India under the above arrangement shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for 14 days on arrival in India at their own cost and they would be making the journey at their own risk, it said.

“Although Indians stranded in China have not been considered for repatriation in the first phase, requisite details are required in respect of all such intending Indian citizens in order to register them for this purpose by the Embassy of India, Beijing,” it said.

“It is therefore requested that all Indian citizens currently in mainland China and keen to return to India, may convey their intent to Embassy’s email id, and share the following details as soon as possible: Name, Age, Gender, Passport No., Mobile phone No. (China and India both), Place of residence (China and India both), Place of final destination in India, Information on RT-PCR test taken and its result, Details of Chinese visa including validity, Profession and Compelling reasons for repatriation to India,” it said.

India earlier airlifted over 700 stranded Indians and foreign nationals including from neighboring countries during the height of coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan.

The deadly coronavirus which originated from the Chinese city of Wuhan in December last year has infected over 3.67 million people and killed 258,051 people globally, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

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