UK evacuated over 16,500 people from India: High Commission

New Delhi [India], May 15 (ANI): The United Kingdom has evacuated over 16,500 British nationals stranded in India due to coronavirus pandemic and consequent lockdown, according to the country's High Commission.

The UK government has run 64 special charter flights in the past 38 days to return stranded British nationals from 32 locations across the length and breadth of India, the High Commission said in a statement.

"Almost half of the Brits repatriated globally thus far on UK charter flights have been from India. It has been a large and complex operation with over 500 members of staff in India working round the clock to ensure flights operated smoothly and passengers could reach airports," the statement read.

One British national stranded in a remote village in Manipur had to travel more than 2,700 km for their flight home from New Delhi.

"The last currently scheduled charter flight left for London Heathrow from Amritsar today with over 300 passengers on board. This unprecedented repatriation effort would not have been possible without the excellent support of the Indian government. Continued cooperation between our nations will be essential in the fight against this pandemic," the statement quoted Jan Thompson, Acting High Commissioner to India, as saying.

Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the UK government has helped 1.3 million Britons from around the world return on commercial flights and organised special charter flights from 27 different countries and territories. (ANI)