17.2 lakh Indians repatriated through different modes under Vande Bharat Mission: MEA

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 Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson
Anurag Srivastava, MEA spokesperson

New Delhi [India], October 8 (ANI): As many as 17.2 lakh Indians have been repatriated through different modes under the Vande Bharat Mission (VBM), said the Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday.

"As of October 7, 17.2 lakh Indians have been repatriated through different modes under this Vande Bharat Mission (VBM). The modes include, Air India, Air India-Express, Private and foreign carriers, chartered flights, naval ships and land-border crossing," Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson of the External Affairs said at the weekly briefing.

He added, "Under Phase-VII of VBM -- which is presently operational since October 1 -- 873 international flights have been scheduled from 25 countries to be operated during the course of this month. These include flights from 14 different countries with which India has a bilateral air bubble arrangement."

"The air bubble arrangements have been working satisfactory and adding to the capacity. These flights -- which have been scheduled -- will reach 24 countries across India repatriating an estimate of 1.7 lakh people," said further.

As of October 7, 210 of these flights have already been operated from 18 countries, Shrivastava said further adding that the ministry "continues to assess demands of repatriation from other countries" and projects the demands to Air India.

The Vande Bharat Mission started in early May to evacuate Indians stranded abroad due to coronavirus-induced travel restrictions. (ANI)