V. Muraleedharan, India’s Minister of State for External and Parliamentary Affairs
Dubai: Indian diplomatic missions will help arrange additional quarantine centers and services of Indian healthcare workers to support the efforts of the UAE and other Gulf countries in their fight to contain the coronavirus pandemic, an Indian minister said on Friday.
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India’s Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muraleedharan said repatriation of Indians stranded abroad can be considered only from May and on a priority basis.
The junior foreign minister was replying to questions from Indian ex-pats from various parts of the world in a one-hour live show on Indian channel Manorama TV.
Offering all possible support from the Indian government to the Gulf countries where millions of Indian expats live, the minister said the Indian missions, with the approval from the local governments, will help arrange quarantine centers other than the ones set up by the respective governments.
The possibility of taking over the buildings of Indian associations, schools, and other institutions for this purpose is being explored, he said.
The missions will also assist the local governments by arranging the service of Indian healthcare workers for community work with the approval of the local health authorities, he said.
Indian missions will also work with community volunteers and associations to provide food and medicines for laborers and others requiring such assistance.
If need arises, India is also ready to supply necessary medicines, he added.
No mass repatriation possible
Addressing concerns of stranded Indians across the world, Muraleedharan clarified that their repatriation can be considered only from May. Chartered flights by those who can afford it will also be considered only then.
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