Moscow Vande Bharat Mission passengers India
Indian nationals stranded in Moscow, before being airlifted back to India in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Image Credit: PTI

New Delhi:  Repatriation of Indian citizens from the Gulf and other places with large concentrations of such expatriates will enter a new phase one week from now, the government here has announced.

Phase four of the Vande Bharat Mission to bring Indians seeking to return home will focus on the Gulf countries, where a large number of expatriates have registered with Indian embassies to take advantage of special repatriation flights.

"We are committed to bringing back our remaining compatriots, particularly in the GCC countries, Malaysia and Singapore among other places," Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs, told a media briefing here.

"In order to continue with our efforts, phase four of Vande Bharat Mission has been firmed up with effect from 3rd July. This phase will particularly focus on countries where we still have a large number of Indians who have registered to return," he said.

The Vande Bharat Mission, which is in its seventh week now, has so far brought back 364,209 Indians from more than 50 countries across five continents, he said. "Demand for these flights remains very high, especially in the Gulf region and, therefore, we are moving to further streamline the process," Srivastava announced.