The UAE has offered to fly stranded Indians and citizens of other countries, who wish to be repatriated, if they test negative for COVID-19, the country’s envoy to India told a Gulf daily.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) had sent out a “note verbale” in this regard to all the embassies in the UAE, including the Indian mission, during the past couple of weeks, the country’s Ambassador to India Ahmed Abdul Rahman Al Banna told Gulf News over phone on Saturday.
“We have sent the note verbale and all the embassies have been informed including the Indian embassy in the UAE and even the Ministry of External Affairs in India,” Al Banna was quoted as saying by the daily.
He said the UAE has offered to test those who want to be evacuated. “We are assuring everybody that we have the best of the facilities, the best of the testing centres and we have tested more than 500,000 people,” he said.
“We are assuring them also of our cooperation to fly those who got stranded in the UAE for some reasons. Some got stuck because of the lockdown and closure of airports in India. Some were visiting the UAE.”
“We are offering our system and making sure that they are good (to fly) by doing all the tests and transport them according to the request of their own government,” he said.
The envoy said those who test positive for COVID-19 will remain in the UAE. “They will be treated in our home facilities,” he added.
The Kerala High Court on Saturday sought the central government’s response to a petition seeking a direction to bring back Indians stranded in the UAE in view of the coronavirus outbreak in the gulf nation.
Considering the plea by Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) in Dubai, the court directed the Centre to file an affidavit on the steps taken by it to ensure the safety of Indians living there and bring back those stuck in the Gulf countries.
In its plea, KMCC, the organisation for non-resident Indians from Kerala, sought directions to the Ministries of External Affairs and Civil Aviation to provide exemptions in the international air travel ban to bring back those Indians stranded in the UAE.