As India prepares to bring back its nationals stranded in foreign countries due to the Covid-19 lockdown, priority will be given to migrant workers without jobs, those facing medical emergencies, people with expired visas, stranded tourists, students and visitors and foreign office workers who have to leave the country, a source has said.

"A list has been prepared on what should be considered 'compelling' while deciding who should be allowed to travel amongst the numerous applicants. The Indian embassies will take a decision and community associations are also being consulted," the source added.

The government will operate 64 flights from May 7 to 13 to bring back 15,000 Indian nationals stranded in about a dozen countries.

These include the US, the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Philippines and Malaysia, the official said.

The selected 'asymptomatic' passengers will have to pay for their tickets, but competitive prices have been worked out, he added.

The Indian Navy will also operate ships to bring back Indians, for instance from the Maldives to Tuticorin, the official said.

The passengers will have to strictly follow the Standard Operating Protocols (SOPs) released by the Ministry of Home Affairs for the evacuation process on Tuesday.

Before boarding, all travellers will give an undertaking that they would undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for a minimum period of 14 days on arrival in India, as per the procedures. All travellers will be required to give an undertaking that they were making the journey at their own risk.

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