45,000 desis abroad register to return, the number will increase

NEW DELHI: About 40,000 Indians national Abroad they have registered with Indian missions around the world to return to India, official sources said here. While the number may include some duplications, it is only expected to increase significantly in the coming days.

Many of those who have registered are in Gulf countries looking to return, as the number of India n national infected with Covid-19 in the region continues to increase. Close to 25,000 had registered in Dubai only with the Indian consulate.

We are trying to eliminate duplications, but the number is still huge since the registry has just opened, a source said, adding that it was going to be a major logistical challenge. There are more than 8 million living in the Gulf region.

The Foreign Ministry said Thursday that it was aware of the inconvenience facing Indians abroad and that the issue of their evacuation was receiving government attention.

I would appreciate that the flights have been suspended since the blockade began. Our missions are making exceptional efforts to provide food and shelter to the stranded Indians. They are also working with local authorities to help those whose visas have expired, the MEA spokesman said.

As has been reported, apart from using commercial flights, the government is also looking to deploy naval ships and military aircraft for bringing back India n national .

As the first step for evacuation, the India n missions are looking to create a database for registration of families and individuals who want to return because of the Covid-19 issue. As the India n consulate in Dubai clarified Thursday, registration alone won’t guarantee a seat in any flight to India once the lockdown ends. The database is first meant to estimate the number of people who want to travel and to what all places. This will then be used to ensure proper planning for receiving India n national here in a way which prevents any further spread of Covid-19 in India .

After viewing the response to the database, the government will notify the conditions for traveling by plane to India. Sources said this may include detecting viruses to passengers before they are allowed to board the flight. `` This can surely be done where local authorities are willing to provide the testing facilities, '' an official said.

In the first round of evacuation, which happened before the country was locked up, the government avoided using brine on those infected with Covid-19. While the infected were mainly in I ran , now India n national carrying the virus are spread over 53 countries. The figure was around 6,300, as first reported by TOI on April 26, at last count with maximum infections in Singapore. The Gulf region together then accounted for close to 3,000 cases.

The most dramatic and successful evacuation from India so far has been the airlift of 1,70,000 people from Kuwait in 1990 after the country was invaded by Iraq .