Around 170 Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka were repatriated on a special Air India (AI 0282) flight from Colombo to Delhi on 18 July, 2020, the Indian High Commission in Colombo said today.
The flight was scheduled as part of phase IV of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ a Government of India initiative to undertake the largest ever repatriation from all over the world for return of Indian nationals stranded abroad due to COVID19 pandemic.
Acting High Commissioner of India Vinod K. Jacob met the Indian nationals at the Bandaranaike International Airport and bid the happy passengers a safe journey.
Based on the registrations received by the High Commission of India, a passenger manifest will be prepared for these flights. Priority will be given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers/labourers who have been laid off, short term visa holders faced with expiry of visa, people with medical emergency/ pregnant women/elderly, those required to return to India due to death of family member, and students as stated in the Standard Operating Procedure issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
The Indian nationals who were stranded in Sri Lanka due to restrictions on international travel because of COVID19 pandemic have expressed their happiness at the opportunity to return home. Over 1800 Indian nationals have been repatriated from Sri Lanka so far including this flight through five special Air India Flight on 29 May, 15 June, 22 June and 03 July 2020, 08 July 2020, Indian Naval Ship Jalashwa which made a voyage from Colombo to Tuticorin on 01 June and through various charter flights.
Those stranded Indian nationals who have not yet registered with the High Commission have been asked to do so on the following link -https://hcicolombo.gov.in/COVID_helpline. The Indian High Commission in Colombo urged all stranded Indian nationals to follow updates on the High Commission’s website and social media. (Colombo Gazette)