The Centre is concerned about the safety of Indians abroad and is taking all measures in this regard in coordination with respective governments, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Wednesday.
Like some political leaders the government of India is also concerned about the safety of the Indian population abroad. They have been provided with quarantine, medical, accommodation, food, water and other facilities in coordination with the respective governments, he told PTI.
He was asked about the statements of former Congress president Rahul Gandhi and IUML leaders from Kerala on the issue of Indians stranded in Middle East and other countries due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"The Indian embassies are also assisting whoever has approached them. Unless the embassies are approached by the individuals concerned, the follow-up action could not be taken," he said to a question on bringing them to India.
"While some of them have gone on visit visas (and could not come back due to cancellation of flights), a few others wanted to return to India for various reasons like losing employment, fear of getting a virus attack etc.," Muraleedharan said.
Earlier Rahul Gandhi, elected to Lok Sabha from Wayanad in Kerala, had tweeted: The COVID-19 crisis and shutting of businesses in the Middle East have left thousands of Indian workers in deep distress and desperate to return home.
"The Government must organise flights to bring home our brothers and sisters most in need of assistance, with quarantine plans in place," he said on Twitter.
A few days back, IUML national general secretary P K Kunhalikutty expressed concern on the plight of stranded Indians in the Gulf region and urged the Centre to bring them back at the earliest.
The Malappuram MP (Kerala) claimed that Indians, particularly unskilled labourers in the Middle East region, were suffering as there is no proper place to stay or availability of food and water to them" and "many of them have already lost jobs".