Saudi Arabia: 2.3 lakh Indians repatriated, 2,158 die of coronavirus

Jeddah, Nov 7 (UNI) Over 2.3 lakh Indians have been repatriated from Saudi Arabia during the coronavirus pandemic, according to top Indian diplomat. The total of 2,32,556 Indians returned to home through 1295 special flights that operated to India following suspension of regular flights between two countries, said Dr Ausaf Saeed, Indian Ambassador on Friday.

Addressing the press conference, Ambassador said that 1,295 flights operated from Saudi Arabia that including 276 of Vande Bharat Mission flights and remaining were charter flights for the repatriation.

The repatriation of deportees, from jails and deportation centers after completing their sentences, is different from the regular repatriation process, he said. So far, 2,200 such people repatriated back home with the cooperation of department military affairs for their quarantine facility upon arrival, he added.

Dr Saeed revealed that India is working closely with Saudi Arabia to have an air bubble agreement that can facilitate the return of stranded NRIs of Saudi Arabian visa from India to Saudi.

Envoy emphasized that the travel ban on India by Saudi Arabia required to be reviewed as COVID-19 cases per capita in India is much less compared with its population and preventive measures.

Dr. Saeed said so far 2,158 Indians died in Saudi Arabia, including 850 with COVID-19. Welcoming proposed Saudi labour reforms, the Ambassador hoped that labour disputes would drop to some extent. The fresh recruitment from India is being linked through an e-migrate scheme that ensures contractual obligation between employee and employer.

“Saudi Arabia and India agreed to have proper contractual obligations during PM Narendra Modi visit to Saudi Arabia”, he said. Dr. Saeed revealed that both countries working in the field of higher education and health care, said that opening of campuses of IIT Delhi and Indian School of Business of Hyderabad in Saudi Arabia on cards.

India is also working to establish Indian Cultural Centre in Riyadh, he said. The ongoing virtual Yoga classes would be converted into physical form soon by maintaining social distance norms, according to him.

Highlighting growing relations between both countries, the ambassador told that joint working groups involving trade, investment and industries sector have been meeting regularly. ndia and Saudi Arabia both are keen to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the health sector.

Dr. Saeed revealed that passport and consular services were expanding as ease of COVID-19 restriction. 82,270 passport related services being provided in the country. Indian missions working to have permanent passport service centers in different parts of the Kingdom.

Regarding Haj, the Ambassador said that India didn’t receive any formal information regarding modifications in the view of pandemic.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here