The lockdown imposed on various parts of the world to contain the virus spread has left thousands of people stranded in other countries. Looking upon this situation and the instructions made by the Government of India, the Indian Embassy in America has started looking for the Indians and contacted those who expressed their desire to return to India. This step was taken a few days after the Indian government gave the signal. Earlier, the Indian government on April 10 had indicated that after assessing the situation of Coronavirus in India, it would take a decision on bringing back the strucked Indian citizens abroad.
Additional Secretary of the Ministry of External Affairs, Dammu Ravi said that some questions have been raised about the Indians abroad. This is a situation where we cannot get a definitive answer, because the lockdown is still in progress. We need to assess the situation. It will be the decision of the government that how do we make arrangements to bring back Indians from other countries.
After the lockdown across the country will end, which is May 3. The first phase of bringing back Indians is likely to begin with the countries of the Gulf region. As there are about 8 million Indians living in Gulf countries and their livelihood is suffering because the oil based economy of this region has collapsed due to the global pandemic.
After this, the government will consider bringing Indians trapped in Britain, other parts of Europe and America. There is currently no official estimate of the number of Indians trapped in the US due to the Corona epidemic. At the same time, these people are unable to return due to travel restrictions in both India and US countries. Many of these include Indian students and people who have gone on vacations.
The Indian embassy has started sending emails to Indian community organizations and recently contacted people on Wednesday. Those who are looking for the resources to return back to India can register themselves by visiting the Indian embassy’s website. However, the date of the journey has not been announced yet.
Apart from the fleet of navy ships to bring the citizens back, the Indian Air Force has also been asked to keep some of its resources ready for this operation. The Navy has marked INS Jalashwa and two other ships for this operation. The INS Jalashwa is capable of carrying out ambitious operations in addition to the search and rescue. It has the capacity to bring 1,000 people at once.