An Indian doctor stranded in Canada has returned to the country to serve fellow citizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Farah from Jammu and Kashmir who was on a short trip to Canada got stuck there as the nationwide lockdown was declared in India to contain the spread of the virus. She expressed her gratitude to the Government of India and the consulate of Canada for arranging the repatriation flights for all Indians stranded abroad under the Vande Bharat Mission.
"I'm a doctor and I got stuck here. I felt useless while my colleagues were out there fighting the COVID war. I literally wanted to go and help the people. I thank the consulate of Canada for creating the repatriation flights which has really helped people to reach homes and to the places where they actually belong. Grateful to the Government of India for the efforts to bring back Indians", Dr. Farah said in a video posted on social media.
Enabling front line workers to reach home to help fellow Indians. #vandebharatmission #homebound #coronawarriors @airindiain @_apoorvasri @Ajaybis @HCI_Ottawa @MoCA_GoI @HardeepSPuri @MoHFW_INDIA @drharshvardhan @MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar @PMOIndia @diprjk pic.twitter.com/PVw9xlnXtc— IndiainToronto (@IndiainToronto) May 22, 2020
In a major relief for Indians stranded abroad, the Centre had earlier announced that their travel will be arranged via aircraft and naval ships in a phased manner. The first phase of the mission was set for 7 days starting from May 7 to rescue stranded Indians from over 11 countries including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Maldives, Singapore, and the US.
In the second phase of the mission, the Indian government is bringing back over 32,000 stranded Indians from 31 countries from May 16 to 23. More countries have been added in the second phase including Finland, South Korea, Belgium, New Zealand, Netherlands, Kenya, Mauritius, Spain, Myanmar, Maldives, Egypt, and Sri Lanka.
Further, in order to facilitate the return of stranded Indian nationals in Oman, the Indian government has decided to operate more special flights to Bangalore, Calicut, Delhi, Kannur, Kochi, and Gaya on May 20, 21, 22 and 23. Under the second phase, a total of 149 flights, including feeder flights, are expected to be operated.