19:18 GMT31 May 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Foreign nationals from countries including Russian, Germany, Israel and Iran are being repatriated from India on special flights. According to the government officials, around 10,000 foreign nationals are being evacuated; India has suspended normal domestic and international air traffic.

    Around 400 Russian nationals who were stranded in India due to the 21-day coronavirus lockdown have been evacuated aboard a Moscow-bound plane on Wednesday.

    “Today, both Russia and India face the same challenges and work together to contain the spread of infection while securing the interests of our citizens, many of whom face difficulties while away from home,” the Russian Embassy in New Delhi stated today.

    It also added that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi are personally in touch over the matter.

    “Over 400 Russian nationals on a Moscow-bound airplane have been taken back. This was the fourth special flight to bring our compatriots home. This mission required a dedicated effort on behalf of many agencies,” said Nikolay Kudashev, Russian Ambassador to India.

    He also thanked the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, Directorate General of Civil Aviation and all the local administrations for their support in the evacuation process.

    Kudashev further expressed his gratitude towards those who made these flights possible as well as to "compatriots whose fortitude proved to be up to the highest mark of the strategic partnership" between the two countries.

    The Embassy provided compatriots who reached the airport on the eve of the departure food, which included traditional Russian dishes. Citizens who could not board the airplane were provided with lodging at a comfortable hotel in Delhi until the next flight.

    In a similar evacuation process, around 463 tourists from Russia were airlifted last week.

    According to the federal Health Ministry of India, over 1,600 people have tested positive for the infectious COVID-19 and 38 people have died far.


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