NEW DELHI: Almost 10 countries have approached the Indian government for help to evacuate their nationals stranded in India back to their home countries. According to diplomatic sources, the Indian government will be facilitating the process by allowing special flights over the next week.
According to sources, Germany, Poland, France, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Canada and Italy among others, have requested the Indian government that they want to take their nationals who are stranded back home. In the past couple of weeks, India has been evacuating its own citizens from Covid-hit hotspots like China, Italy, Iran among others. In the past week, India has had to bring back a number of its people who have been stranded in different airports as transit passengers.
Emmanuel Lenain, French ambassador in India told TOI, “We are working with the Indian authorities and with airline companies to organise flights for French citizens currently on a visit in India.”
Poland has already taken back about 500 of its nationals while waiting to airlift another group of unspecified numbers.
Italy is negotiating with the MEA for evacuating its own people.
However, the UK is not repatriating its nationals out yet, nor is the US, largely because the numbers are fairly large.
A British High Commission spokesperson said, In view of the ban on international flights from India until at least 29 March, “British nationals in India should be prepared for the possibility that this could be extended and to stay in country until commercial flights resume.”
Asserting that the government is working closely with their Indian counterparts, the spokesperson said, “We encourage all British nationals in India to follow the advice of local authorities, sign up to alerts on our India travel advice page, and follow our social media channels for updates. Be ready to comply with local isolation, testing or quarantine requirements, and to rely on the local health system.”