New Delhi [India], January 9 (ANI): Phase nine of the Vande Bharat Mission has been made operational since January 1, said the Ministry of External Affairs on Friday adding that more than 44.7 lakh people have been repatriated under this mission.
Speaking at a virtual press briefing, spokesperson Anurag Srivastava of the External Affairs Ministry, said, "The phase nine of the Vande Bharat Mission has been made operational since January 1 - this phase would involve operating 1,495 flights from 24 countries to facilitate the return of an estimate 2.8 lakh people"
"As of January 6, 261 of these flights have been operated and these flights have facilitated the return of 49,000 people from 19 countries. This brings the total number of people who have been facilitated through the different modes of this mission -- which is the world's largest repatriation exercise --the number of people who have come back under this mission are more than 44.7 lakhs," he added.
India has temporarily suspended its Vande Bharat flights from the United Kingdom due to the emergence of the new strain of coronavirus, said the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in late December.
The spokesperson said that as many as 1,005 international flights have been operated under Phase 8 Plus of India's Vande Bharat Mission, thus, repatriating more than 40 lakh people from 27 countries.
The Vande Bharat Mission started in early May to evacuate Indians stranded abroad due to coronavirus -induced travel restrictions. (ANI)