India on its largest ever repatriation exercise, airlifted 363 of its citizens who were stranded in United Arab Emirates (UAE) by two Air India flights that landed in Kochi and Kozhikode Thursday, May 7.

As a part of the government's Vande Bharat mission to bring back its citizens stranded abroad amid the Covid-19 pandemic scare, two flights were sent to Abu Dhabi and Dubai to bring back over 363 Indains, including nine infants.

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Flights reach from Gulf countries 

The first Air India Express flight carrying 177 passengers and four infants from Abu Dhabi landed at the Kochi airport at 10.09 pm, while the second flight from Dubai with the same number of passengers and five infants landed at the Karipur International Airport at Kozhikode at around 10.32 pm on Thursday.

The returnees, after the checkups at the airport terminals were directly sent for the Institutional Quarantine facilities set up by the district administrations in their respective districts.

The passengers were ensured travel with full preventive measures against the contagion spread. The pilots and crew members of the flights welcomed passengers with the message "welcome aboard. We are going home". All the cabin crew and pilots were in complete PPE suits while undertaking the evacuation process.

Meanwhile, Indian Navy's INS Jalashwa, has reached the Maldives to bring back stranded Indian citizens.

All passengers were asked to download Arogya Setu app as directed by the Central Government.

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The Kerala state government has arranged strict guidelines and measurements to be followed by all the returnees. Only one relative is allowed to come to the pickup points to bring back these stranded Indians to home. Additionally, the state government has also arranged KSRTC (Kerala State Road Transport Corporation) buses for transporting the evacuated expatriates.

All the passengers were provided of two masks, sanitiser, snacks box with two cheese sandwiches and a fruit cake slice along with water.

Those passengers who were tested and found Covid-19 negative will also need to undergo the isolation prescribed for seven days.