172 South Koreans in India, including workers from Hyundai Motor Company, arrived at Incheon International Airport Tuesday morning on a special flight back home.
They will stay in state-designated accommodation for seven days and must test negative on the sixth day before being able to self-isolate at home.
Another 2-hundred-11 nationals will return on Friday on a chartered flight by Asiana Airlines.
And authorities plan to operate ten more non-scheduled flights this month to evacuate as many South Koreans out of India as possible.
At least 700 residents are still awaiting their turn.
"Even if you apply for the flights, sometimes the date of departure doesn't come out right away. And boarding times are constantly changing, so a lot of South Korean residents are a little uneasy right now."
India reported 357,229 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, surpassing the 20 million mark in the total number of infections.
According to the country's health ministry, the virus has also claimed 3,449 more lives, raising the death toll to over 220-thousand.
Medical experts say actual numbers could be five to 10 times higher.
Despite a shortage of beds and medical oxygen, new patients are pouring into hospitals throughout the nation putting India's health care system on the brink of collapse.
This has led the Indian government to desperately ask for emergency assistance from overseas.
A U.S. Air Force aircraft carrying 545 oxygen concentrators arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday with other nations also providing foreign aid.
Reuters reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reluctant to impose a national lockdown over fears of economic setbacks..
Making India's situation worse are problems with vaccine supply and distribution.
India is home to the world's biggest producer of vaccines, the Serum Institute, but less than 10 percent of its population of 1.three-five billion has received at least a single dose.
Han Seong-woo, Arirang News