New Delhi: Modi government on Monday announced that it will start evacuating Indian nationals stuck abroad due to Covid-19 lockdowns from May 7.
Releasing a press statement on the issue, the government said, “Government of India will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad on compelling grounds in a phased manner.”
Stranded Indian citizens will be brought back homes via aircraft and naval ships and a standard operating procedure has been created for the same.
Sources have said that Indian citizens will first be evacuated from the United Arab Emirates. Around eight million Indians are living in the Gulf countries and there has been growing anxiety among them over their livelihood in view of the pandemic as it has majorly impacted the oil-driven economy of the region. Some of the Indians in the Gulf want to return home. Almost all Gulf countries have taken a series of drastic measures including imposing total lockdown, travel restrictions and even closing borders to stem the spread of the coronavirus infection.
According to the government release, Indian Embassies and High Commissions are creating lists of distressed citizens in various countries.
However, the government has clarified that citizens will have to pay for the service.
The government has added that passengers will be medically screened before departure and only asymptomatic persons will be allowed to board flights.