HKSAR Government mapping our arrangements of charter flights to allow Hong Kong residents stranded in India and Pakistan returning home
India, Pakistan and other countries are carrying out the nationwide lock-down measures under the current epidemic. The DAB Ethnic Minorities Committee and the Vincent Cheng Legislative Council Office have received more than 700 cases of Hong Kong residents seeking assistances, involving more than 1,000 people stranded in those regions with candidates for the current secondary school diploma exam, pregnant women and chronically-ill patients. For different reasons, they desperately hope to return to Hong Kong as soon as possible. After submitting the information of stranded residents and reflecting their request to the Security Bureau a few days ago, DAB met with the Security Bureau again last weekend. We have been informed that the SAR Government has successfully contacted the airline and is arranging for charter flights back to Hong Kong from both India and Pakistan in batches. Passengers will pay their own costs. After meeting with the Director of the Security Bureau and the Consul General of Pakistan in Hong Kong, the DAB met with another member of the Legislative Council, Regina Ip, and representatives of the Security Bureau last weekend to follow up the assistance of Hong Kong residents stranded in India, Pakistan, Nepal and other places returning to Hong Kong . We were also informed that the Government received more than 4,000 requests for assistance from India and more than 3,000 from Pakistan. The Government have successfully contacted a number of help-seekers and sought assistance from the Chinese embassy in the local area and the consulates of the two countries in Hong Kong. The Government will arrange charter flights to bring these Hong Kong residents back to Hong Kong in stages. If everything is ready, the whole operation will take 7 to 10 days for India, and 3 to 5 days for Pakistan. Arrangements will be made for Hong Kong residents stranded to return home, but only about 300 people can be picked up per flight. Those returning to Hong Kong must comply with the quarantine policies of the two places in terms of local departure and Hong Kong entry. The DAB made the following requests to the Security Bureau today:
Distribute information about charter flights and assistance to Hong Kong residents in need;
Contact all help-seekers as soon as possible to understand their needs and provide assistance;
Take care of those who have special needs to return to Hong Kong, such as students, pregnant women and chronically-ill patients or those in need of drugs, when returning to Hong Kong in batches;
Ensure that these Hong Kong residents return to Hong Kong in a safe and healthy manner. After returning to Hong Kong, they also need to undergo a 14-day quarantine arrangement.