Shahzeen Eram, Riyadh – Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia has announced the death of 10 Indian workers in the Kingdom while 186 have tested positive with the Corona Virus as on Monday, 20th April, 2020. The condition of most of the infected individuals has been reported to be stable.
Indian Embassy in Saudi Arabia announce 10 dead, around 186 infected due to COVID–19 pandemic
Ambassador of India Dr. Ausaf Sayeed said, “In this moment of grief, the Embassy is closely monitoring the situation on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia, and is taking all requisite measures to ensure the welfare of 2.6 million Indian citizens residing in the Kingdom.”
In Saudi Arabia, while the total Novel Corona positive cases show 9, 362 confirmed cases of which 1,398 have recovered and 97 deaths have been reported. In the last 24 hours 1088 new cases with 5 mortality and 69 recoveries have been reported. Meanwhile, the Saudi health ministry has also confirmed that 70- 80 % of those affected have been expatriates.
On enquiring about the repatriation of the mortal remains of the deceased back to India, the embassy informed that ‘till now, the missions have not yet received any requests for repatriation of mortal remains during the lockdown.’
Presently, there are no international flights routed to India in cause of the lockdown in force both in Saudi Arabia and India.
“In event of receiving any such request, the missions will sensitize the case with the Indian authorities and deal them case-by-case.” the envoy has assured.
Earlier, more than 3000 Umrah pilgrims were repatriated between 12-19 March before the lockdown was announced while 248 pilgrims are still stranded in the Kingdom.
It was informed that following orders from the Supreme Court of India. All Indian expatriates stranded abroad cannot be flown back immediately. In lieu, all petitions seeking orders to bring back stranded Indians across the world have been deferred for four weeks.
Ambassador Sayeed further said, “However, in the current situation there is no immediate plan for evacuation. Once flights resume, we will have to ensure a phased return of Indians.”
Gulf Region in general and Saudi Arabia in particular is of critical importance to India due to the large size of the Indian diaspora.
Ambassador Sayeed assured that the Indian Embassy in Riyadh and the Consulate General in Jeddah is working round -the-clock to address all concerns of the Indian expatriate community and has taken extensive measures to reach out towards the safety of the community in this hour of need.
Dedicated emergency helpline number
He informed that Indian Embassy has set up dedicated emergency helpline number +966-546103992 (including Whatsapp) and Email: email@example.com to receive calls from Indians across the Kingdom to provide requisite information. Community members can now reach the missions through all the social media handles of the embassy that are being actively monitored 24/7 during this emergency situation.
More than 1000 calls received on the emergency helpline number and other Embassy numbers already where daily messages received on various social media channels have exceeded all previous records.
In event, the Ambassador also highlighted the situation of Covid-19 in India where the statistics show 16,116 Covid confirmed cases with 2,302 recoveries and 519 reported deaths in India.
Sayeed reiterated Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi’s message that welfare of Indian nationals remains a priority for Indian Embassies all over the world.
He also mentioned the importance of bilateral co-operation between India And Saudi Arabia to fight the pandemic in terms of innovations, use of technology and best practices to be focused on.
Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi had spoken to HRH Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman on March 17 to discuss the efforts to fight the pandemic, and also participated in the G-20 Virtual Summit held on March 26, 2020.
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