Coronavirus: Can Indian Expats be Evacuated and Flown Back Home?

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Non-resident Indians stranded abroad cannot be evacuated and brought back home during the lockdown period when there are no flights operating in and out of India, a senior Indian minister has said.

V. Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs, has urged expat Indians to stay put wherever they are, and has assured that his ministry will make necessary arrangements for their welfare.

On March 24, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared a 21-day lockdown in India restricting the movement of around 1.3 billion people to curb the spread of coronavirus. People are not allowed to go outside and all inbound and outbound flight services are also suspended in India.

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Muraleedharan said he has been inundated with requests from Indians asking the ministry to make arrangements for their safe return in the wake of travel restrictions introduced world over amid the coronavirus pandemic.

India has the biggest diaspora community worldwide with a 17.5 million living in different parts of the world. UAE alone is home to an estimated nearly three million Indians.

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