SOPs for stranded Indians: People out of job, short term visa holders, students to be prioritized | India News

NEW DELHI: The government will prioritize certain cases over others while bringing stranded Indians back home given the nature of their emergency. People who have been laid off, those who hold short term visa, those who need to return due to a medical emergency or due to death of a family member and students will be prioritized.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) on Tuesday issued Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) for movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country, as well as, for people who are stranded in India and want to travel abroad due to some urgent requirement.
Here is the SOP issued by the government:
* Priority will be given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers, labourers who have been laid off and those faced with expiry of short term visas.
* People with medical emergency, pregnant women, elderly, those required to return to India due to death of family member, and students will also be given preference, the home ministry said.
* All those wanting to return home will be required to register with Indian missions in their country providing necessary details.
* Based on the registrations received, the MEA will prepare flight or ship wise database of all such travellers, including details such as name, age, gender, mobile phone number, place of residence, place of final destination; and information on RT-PCR test taken and its result.
* The MEA will designate State/UT wise nodal officers who will co-ordinate with nodal officers from states.
* The schedule (day, place & time of arrival) of the incoming flight/ship will be displayed with at least two days notice on MEA’s website.
* The cost of travel will be borne by the travellers.
* Passengers will have to fill out self-declaration forms providing their health and personal details. The travellers will also have to take an undertaking that they are making the journey at their own risk.
* At the time of boarding the flight/ship, passengers will undergo thermal screening and only asymptomatic travellers will be allowed to board.
* The people returning will also have to download the Aarogya Setu app upon arrival.
* All travellers will have to quarantine for at least 14 days upon arrival in India, at their own cost.
* If they test negative after 14 days they will be allowed to go home and will undertake self-monitoring at home for 14 more days. The remaining people will be shifted to medical facility by States/UTs.
* While onboard, travellers will have to follow strict protocol and wear masks and mind their respiratory and hand hygiene.
The ministry of external affairs (MEA) had announced earlier in the day that the government will carry out evacuation of over 14,000 Indian nationals stranded in 13 foreign countries by 64 flights and three Navy warships in week 1 of the operation.

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