The U.S. has so far returned around 37,000 Americans stranded abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic and plans to bring an additional 22,000 of its citizens, many of whom are in South Asia, particularly India, said a senior official.
"We have repatriated around 37,000 US citizens from over 60 countries on more than 400 flights. Over 20,000 Americans have been repatriated in the past week alone," Ian Brownlee, deputy chief secretary for consular affairs, told reporters during a conference call on Friday.
He said the US State Department had planned about 70 flights in the coming days, which should bring back several thousand more US citizens.
"South Asia now has the most US citizens who want to return. So far, the United States has brought nearly 1,000 Americans home from South Asia and are working aggressively to help thousands more who have expressed interest in returning," said Brownlee.
"The total number we are currently looking at overseas is approximately 22,000. The largest number – certainly the multitude – is in South and Central Asia, many of which are in India," he added.
Brownlee asked the Americans to return to their home country as soon as possible.
"Now is the time to act for US citizens who are considering whether to come home or not. The flights will not continue indefinitely, but we want to do everything we can to help you as long as we do can still do this, "he said.
More than 53,000 people have died from coronavirus since it was first discovered in China late last year, and the United States, Spain, and Britain all reported their highest daily deaths.
The fatal infection has killed over 7,000 people in the United States and infected over 2,70,000 others.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)