KEY POINTS

  • India is imposing its own lockdown, prompting countries to rush repatriating their own citizens
  • The U.S. has been pushing its own repatriation through chartered flights
  • U.S. nationals think of staying in the country

The United States has advised its nationals that its government is prepared to fly them out of India on a specially chartered flight from New Delhi but to very little reaction. The majority of the 800 Americans living in or visiting India preferred to stay in lockdown in the country or at least until the COVID-19 outbreak dies down in the United States.

According to the Times of India, several countries have started to bring their citizens back to their homelands with the help of the Indian government. Australia has made moves over the weekend to repatriate 444 of its nationals on a flight back to Melbourne. As for the Americans, U.S. officials have organized special flights to take stranded nationals back home.

A letter from the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi said that repatriation efforts after this week were unsure to continue. Most Americans preferred to stay in India, largely because of the number of infected back in the U.S. compared to the Indian cases.

During a White House briefing, earlier this week, U.S. State Department Official Ian Brownlee told the press how there were about “multiple thousands” who wanted to take a flight out of India. That changed over the weekend, with only 10 out of 800 Americans expressing their interest to get a flight out.

The cases in India, compared to the United States, are still in small numbers. The Coronavirus Live Update has shown that the U.S. has a total of 557, 590 cases compared to India’s 9,240. About 6,898 deaths were recorded in the U.S., while only 331 in India.

Australia and the U.S. aren’t the only countries that are rushing to get their citizens out of the Indian peninsula. The UK and Brazil have been trying to organize flights to get their countrymen out. France, Germany and Russia have opted to let their citizens stay as European countries try to get a grip on the situation.

Moreover, there are many challenges that countries doing repatriation are facing, like conducting large-scale operations to get every one of their citizens back home and getting flights. Most of the international commercial flights out of India have been grounded.

coronavirus pandemic makes New Yorkers afraid to go to hospitals coronavirus pandemic makes New Yorkers afraid to go to hospitals Photo: Gerd Altmann - Pixabay