India to repatriate first batch of Covid-stranded citizens from Sri Lanka
ECONOMYNEXT – The first batch of Indians stranded in Sri Lanka after India closed airports and halted flights will be taken giving priority to pregnant women, elderly and those with medical needs, the High Commission (embassy) in Colombo said.
Sri Lanka also closed inbound flights on March 19 and Qatar is the only airline that is operating scheduled flights to the country.
Air India AI 0276 from Colombo to Mumbai will fly on Friday May 29.
“Based on the registrations received by the High Commission of India, a passenger manifest will be prepared for this flight,” the High Commission said.
“Priority will be given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers/labourers who have been laid off, short term visa holders faced with expiry of visa, people with medical emergency/ pregnant women/elderly, those required to return to India due to death of family member, and students..”
The website of the Indian High Commission in Colombo will be updated with information about the flight.
“As the High Commission of India, Colombo has received a large number of repatriation requests from Indian nationals stranded in Sri Lanka, only some of the registered people would be accommodated on this flight that has been scheduled,” the embassy said.
“Short-listed passengers for this flight will be informed through email by the High Commission of India. Passengers will bear the cost of travel by this flight as well as for mandatory quarantine facilities on arrival in India.”
Sri Lanka has been aggressively tracing and quarantining Coroanvirus cases after closing inbound travelers on March 19.
Sri Lanka has so-far confirmed 972 cases with most coming from a Navy base that got infected at a time when random tests were denied to frontline workers.
Indian nationals who have not yet registered with the High Commission may could use the following link https://hcicolombo.gov.in/COVID_helpline. (Colombo/May19/2020)