Coronavirus: India sets up 24/7 helpline for Expats in Gulf

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India has announced the establishment of a round-the-clock helpline for worldwide coordination on Covid-19 even as the country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, appealed for a voluntary, day-long curfew by Indians on Sunday.

The helpline will be available to people in the Gulf for assistance in the eventuality that their families, friends or associates fall victim to a Covid-19 infection or issues related to the spreading Coronavirus, reported Emirati news agency Wam.

The telephone numbers of the Control Room are 1800118797 (toll-free), +91-11-23012113, +91-11-23014104 and +91-11-23017905, The facility’s email is covid19@mea.gov.in and it can be contacted on Fax number +91-11-23018158.

In addition, for people calling in from the Gulf states, a team of officers are available to provide specific and special assistance.

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The team is led by Dr. T. V. Nagendra Prasad, Joint Secretary for the Gulf in the MEA. The Gulf team’s phone numbers are: +91-11-49018480 and +91- 9205066104.

Similarly, designated officers have been appointed for different geographical areas and specifically for Coronavirus hotspots like Italy, Spain, China and Iran.

The Indian Embassy in Bahrain has also provided a 24×7 contact number for expats in Bahrain for any emergency related to COVID-19. The number is +973 39415772.

With international flights into India being suspended from Sunday and visas already in abeyance, Indians and others in the Gulf who want to co-ordinate on issues related to Covid-19 will find this helpline useful.

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Especially if they need to travel to India, but are unable to do so because of restrictions triggered by health concerns.

Modi urged his citizens to practice the concept of a voluntary “People’s Curfew” on Sunday from 7 am to 9 pm, when only those who have to perform essential services would venture out of their homes.

He said that the “success of such a people’s movement and the experiences gained from it will prepare us for the challenges ahead.”

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