Hyderabad: As India gears up for the biggest evacuation exercise, Ministry of Home Affairs  (MHA) has clarified that sacked migrant workers, pregnant women, and others will be given priority to travel back home.

“Priority will be given to compelling cases in distress, including migrant workers/laborers who have been laid off, short-term visa holders faced with the expiry of visas, persons with medical emergency/pregnant women/elderly and those required to return to India due to the death of a family member and students,” said MHA in a statement.

MHA also issued Standard Operating Protocols for movement of Indians stranded abroad, as well as, for those persons who are desirous to travel abroad for urgent reasons.

As part of the SOPs, the stranded Indian nationals will have to register themselves with Indian Missions in their respective countries along with details as directed by the Ministry of External Affairs of India.

“They will travel to India by non-scheduled commercial flights to be arranged by the MoCA and naval ships to be arranged by the Department of Military Affairs. Only those crew and staff who test Covid-19 negative will be allowed to operate these flights/ships,” the statement said.

As already specified by the Civil Aviation Ministry, the cost of travel will be borne by travelers.

“Before boarding, all travelers shall give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days on arrival in India. All travelers will also be required to give an undertaking that they are making the journey at their own risk,” the statement said.

The passengers found to be symptomatic during screening will be immediately taken to a medical facility upon arrival as per health protocol

MHA said the remaining passengers shall be taken to suitable institutional quarantine facilities, to be arranged by the respective states/Union Territories. “These facilities may be, as far as possible, in the district headquarters to which the arriving passengers belong,” it added.

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