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Indian students stranded in United States urge immediate evacuation

Indian students stranded in United States urge immediate evacuation

| @indiablooms | 18 May 2020, 07:41 pm

Houston/IBNS: Thousands of Indians stranded in United States due to coronavirus lockdown have requested the government to send flights to evacuate them and connect more cities like Dallas and Houston where a large number of Indians are awaiting to fly back to their country, said a media report.

The students and people who had travelled to America for medical treatment made the urgent appeal citing financial strain due to unplanned extended stay there, reported NDTV.

The report cited cases where people complained about exorbitant fare charged by Air India, but not allowing private airlines, red-tapism and other restrictions coming in way of evacuation.

The government officials have said the Indian Embassy and consulates are working tirelessly to cater to the emergency cases, like cancer patients, pregnant women, students and laid off workers, adding that consulate helplines receive 10,000 calls and emails everyday, the report stated.

They said the Indian mission in the United States is not just helping with flights but also helping students with accommodation and essential services as their university dormitories and hostels closed in March due to coronavirus induced lockdown. Terminally-ill patients, stranded passengers, and people with medical concerns and students are given the priority.

A total of 260 passengers have flown to Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Delhi from Chicago, Consul General of India in Houston, Aseem Mahajan said, stated the report.

In phase II of the evacuation exercise, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Himachal - through New York - Bangalore, and Kochi from San Francisco will be covered while flights to Delhi, Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad and Hyderabad will be from Chicago, he added.

A total of seven flights, including two from San Francisco, one from Washington DC, two from Chicago and two from New York will be part of the second phase of "Vande Bharat Mission" evacuation programme, stated the report.

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