Dubai: Awaiting relief from the government and authorities of India and Saudi Arabia, hundreds of Indians are stranded in Dubai after Saudi Arabia announced a temporary ban on non-citizens’ entry into the kingdom from 20 foreign countries.
Saudi Arabia announced the restriction after the kingdom witnessed a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases. Saudi-bound Indians who were eager to finish their 14-day quarantine in Dubai in order to enter the country are now hit by uncertainty due to the sudden ban.
The passengers had arrived in UAE after the restrictions imposed by Saudi stated foreigners can't enter until they undergo a 14-day quarantine in any of the neighboring countries like UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, etc.
Ever since the imposition of the restriction, passengers are left high and dry in UAE with neither the Indian nor Saudi government authorities paying heed to their hues and cries. Most of the passengers who fall into the ‘blue-collar employees’ are now running out of finances and resources to afford an extended stay in Dubai.
PA Hameed, an advocate and social worker in Riyadh, has written a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar seeking his intervention and has also tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi in multiple tweets to bring the issue to his notice.
The letter says those stranded include families, children, and pregnant women. "Some Indian residents in Saudi Arabia who traveled to Dubai a couple of days back to fetch their families and relatives are also stranded due to the sudden development. All of them are in a hapless situation and are pleading for immediate help from the Indian government," it said.
Recently, both Indian Embassies in UAE & Saudi Arabia issued an advisory to the people stranded in Dubai to return back to India. Hameed said the move was unexpected and unusual, asking people to go back to India is the last thing the government should be doing. The embassy should try and come with a plan and diplomatic dialogue insisting the Saudi authorities to allow these stranded Indians into the kingdom.
“"I request the Government of India & other concerned authorities to look into this issue immediately & to facilitate them to be landed in Saudi Arabia by effecting diplomatic consultations with the Saudi Arabian Government in this regard,” he said.
Several passengers who are stranded in UAE have called for help adding that they have run out of money for an extended stay. Many of them have also added that they had to resort to taking loans to facilitate their journey to Saudi Arabia via Dubai for quarantine and now they’re left with uncertainty as there is no guarantee when Saudi will lift the temporary ban.
“We can only hope that the Indian government bails us out from the crisis” one of the stranded passengers Sufyan who hails from Mangaluru said.
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Thiruvananthapuram, May 13: The Kerala government on Thursday urged the Centre to immediately rush at least 300 MT oxygen from neighbouring storage points to augment the storage in hospitals in the wake of the impending cyclonic storm.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the India Meteorological Department has issued a cyclonic storm warning forecasting heavy rain and winds in parts of the State on May 14 and May 15.
It is anticipated that there may be disruptions in electricity supply to oxygen generation plants and filling stations.
Noting that there can also be disruptions in road transport which would impede timely oxygen supply necessary to save precious lives, the Chief Minister urged the Prime Minister to rush at least 300 MT oxygen to the State from neighbouring storage points.
He said the current oxygen generation capacity in Kerala is 212.34 MT per day and at present, the storage of oxygen in hospitals is only for less than 24 hours.
"Based on scientific projections, the total daily oxygen requirement for medical purposes in Kerala could rapidly rise to 423.60 MT within the next three days", the letter said.
The Chief Minister said presently, the State is witnessing a surge of the COVID-19 cases and the number of active cases aggregates to 4.19 lakh.
He said in the second wave of the pandemic, the State is witnessing an increase in the number of patients who require critical care, including oxygen support.
"As the State government will not be able to manage the oxygen demand without assistance from the Central government, it is requested that Kerala's daily oxygen allocation may be immediately enhanced to 450 MT," it said.
The Chief Minister said the Kerala government is continuing to supply liquid medical oxygen to other States, even though the oxygen situation in the State is already precarious.