Udayavni Special

India evacuates 156 nationals from Sri Lanka

Team Udayavani, Jun 15, 2020, 7:55 PM IST

Colombo: As many as 156 Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka were flown back home on Monday under the third phase of a mega evacuation exercise.

National carrier Air India brought back the citizens in its AI-1202 flight from Colombo to Kochi and Bengaluru, the Indian High Commission here said in a press release.

Indian High Commissioner Gopal Baglay met the Indian nationals at the Bandaranaike International Airport and bid them a safe journey. The flight was scheduled as part of the phase-III of ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to repatriate Indians stranded abroad due to the international travel restrictions following the coronavirus outbreak.

Over 1,000 Indians have been repatriated from Sri Lanka so far in various flights and the Indian Navy Ship INS Jalashwa since the first phase of the evacuation mission was launched on May 7.  The next Air India special flight from Colombo to Delhi, Lucknow and Gaya is scheduled on June 22, the release said.

Priority is being given to those who have been laid off, short-term visa holders, people with medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly citizens and students, it said.

The high commission urged stranded Indians to be patient and follow the updates on its website and social media.
The third phase of the Vande Bharat Mission got underway on Thursday and will continue till July 2. Phase-III will have 432 international flights from 43 countries reaching 17 states and union territories.

A total of 1,65,375 Indians have returned from abroad till Thursday under the evacuation mission, the first phase of which was launched on May 7.

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