The sixth phase of the repatriation began on September 1 and will continue till September 30

Nearly 1,24,000 people Indians have been repatriated from abroad under the sixth phase of the Vande Bharat Mission, the Ministry of External Affairs has said.

Giving details about the sixth phase of the Vande Bharat Mission, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said 630 international flights and 142 feeder flights have been functional from 24 countries as on September 22.

These flights have arrived at 24 airports across India under the ongoing phase which began on September 1, he said, adding that the sixth phase will continue to be operational till September 30.

An estimated 15.42 lakh Indians have been repatriated through different modes as part of the 'Vande Bharat' repatriation mission launched on May 7 in light of the coronavirus pandemic, the spokesperson said.

"The air suvidha digital platform which has been made available for all arriving international passengers since August 8... essentially allows exemption from institutional quarantine for incoming passengers on the Vande Bharat mission flights," he said.

The service has been made available in response to a long pending demand of passengers for exemption from institutional quarantine on the basis of their RT PCR test. “It has helped to reduce passenger processing time on arrival," Srivastava pointed out.

Responding to a question about an 'air bubble' arrangement with Bangladesh, he said, "We have offered an air bubble arrangement to Bangladesh as we have offered to our other neighbours. We already have something with Maldives and Afghanistan. The matter is presently under discussion," he said.