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MEA lauds HP’s role in ‘Vande Bharat Mission’

Jai Ram Thakur urges people and netizens to be part of ‘mask up campaign’’

Statesman News Service | Shimla |

The External Affairs Ministry has “appreciated“ the efforts of the Himachal Pradesh government in the Vande Bharat Mission for facilitating return of 4.384 stranded persons of the state from 76 countries in the wake of suspension of international flights amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.

Highlighting this, HP’s Deputy Resident Commissioner at Delhi, Vivek Mahajan, said MEA Joint Secretary Robert Shetkintong, who was also the Chief Coordinator for HP for Vande Bharat Mission, had sent a letter to Chief Secretary Anil Khachi to appreciate the work of the state government. “Himachal is the only state of the country to receive this appreciation so far,” he claimed.

Mahajan said in his letter, Robert Shetkintong appreciated the HP government’s office in New Delhi for its “sincere work by rising to the occasion at short notices” on occasions like “whenever MEA had informed at a short notice before landing of a flight, yet transport and quarantine facilities were arranged for the passengers returning from Gulf”.

The Centre’s letter noted, he said, that the HP government’s office in New Delhi had been “proactive in facilitating the passengers of HP returning from abroad besides reaching out to local authorities in Delhi, Amritsar and Cochin”.

Mahajan further stated that the task could be executed efficiently with the support of HP Chief Secretary Anil Khachi , State Nodal Officer and Principal Secretary Revenue, Onkar Sharma, among others.

“So far, 4,384 passengers from 76 countries have been facilitated by the Himachal Desks at New Delhi, Chandigarh and Amritsar. A 24×7 help desk at IGI Airport at Delhi is working in three shifts,” Mahajan said.

“Besides this, the task was executed with close coordination between passengers, embassies, various state governments and nodal officers and WhatsApp groups of passengers were formed for smooth flow of communication,” he added.

Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Sunday urged the netizens to be a part of the Union government’s “Mask Up Campaign” by using face masks while going out of their homes in order to protect themselves and their family members from coronavirus infection (Covid-19).

Thakur said that people should also ensure social distancing in public places and regularly wash their hands with soap for at least twenty seconds and also use hand sanitiser.

The Himachal CM urged the people of the state to stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing face masks, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands etc.

“At least two-metre distance must be maintained between yourself and others to reduce the risk of coronavirus infection when they cough, sneeze or speak,” Thakur added.