Coronavirus: ‘Distressed’ Indians in GCC will be given priority in evacuation plans

A passenger wearing a protective mask walks inside an airport terminal following an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi. (Reuters)

Indian nationals in the Gulf countries who are in “distressing” situations will be given priority in evacuation arrangements in the coming days, according to a statement from the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs.

According to the ministerial statement, the Indian government defines “distressed” as those who are no longer gainfully employed, people who arrived in the Gulf on visit visas which have since expired, pregnant women, the elderly, and those in of need medical treatment.

“Indian embassies are preparing a list of distressed Indian citizens. This facility would be made available on payment basis,” the Ministry of Home Affairs here, set out the details today in a press release.

The Indian government on Monday confirmed it would begin facilitating the return of Indians stranded abroad beginning May 7.

“Medical screening of passengers would be done before taking the flight. Only asymptomatic passengers would be allowed to travel. During the journey, all these passengers would have to follow the protocols, such as the Health Protocols, issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation,” the government statement read.

According to the Consulate General of India in Dubai, both the embassy and the consulate have received almost 200,000 applications from nationals wishing to travel back home.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06