US begins repatriation of nationals stranded in India due to 21-day lockdown


Washington D.C.: The United States has begun repatriation of its stranded nationals, who want to return home, from India which is undergoing a 21-day lockdown to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic, a senior American diplomat has said.

“We began our repatriation efforts from India yesterday with a flight that brought in some 170-some US citizens,” said Ian G. Brownlee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Consular Affairs, US State Department.

“We will begin a steadier flow of flights out of New Delhi and Mumbai in the coming days, really beginning toward the end of this week and into the weekend. I am reluctant to get into specific numbers because these remain highly dynamic,” he added.

The repatriation from India is part of the massive effort being undertaken by the US for its citizens from across the world.

The Trump administration had last month said that it is coordinating with the Indian government to evacuate stranded American citizens from the country, who have expressed interest to return to the US.

India has suspended all international flights from landing at any airport in the country in view to curb the further spread of the contagious virus that has infected 1,834 people in the country.

Meanwhile, the death toll from COVID-19 in the United States jumped by 884 over the past 24 hours, setting a new one-day record for the country, and taking the tally to 4757, as per the data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University on Wednesday evening (local time). (ANI)