11,616 Indians overseas contaminated with coronavirus: MEA

New Delhi, September 17

Over 11,600 Indians overseas have been contaminated with coronavirus as per particulars accessible with the nation’s missions, the federal government knowledgeable the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.

In a written reply to a query within the Upper House, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan mentioned Indian Missions organized for the welfare of Indian nationals, the place required, together with by way of the Indian neighborhood associations.

In some instances, preparations have been additionally made for screening and testing of stranded Indian nationals to allow them to return to India, as additionally for motion of sufferers by way of air ambulances for his or her therapy in India, he mentioned.

“As on September 10, 2020, as per the details available with Indian missions, the total number of Indian citizens abroad infected with coronavirus stood at 11,616,” he mentioned.

Out of the 11,616 Indians contaminated with COVID-19 overseas, 4,618 have been in Singapore, 2,639 in Bahrain, 1,769 in Kuwait, 907 in Oman, 420 in Qatar, 308 in Iran, 238 within the UAE and 192 in Italy.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, India has supported 150 international locations with medicines and medical gear, together with round 80 international locations underneath grants-in-aid, he mentioned.

In response to a different query on the Vande Bharat Mission, Muraleedharan mentioned the mission was launched on May 7, 2020 and greater than 14,12,835 Indian nationals have returned to India by way of air, land and sea.

To one other query on the variety of Indians overseas at current who’ve registered with the Vande Bharat Mission to return to India however have nonetheless not returned, Muraleedharan mentioned in keeping with the knowledge accessible with the ministry, 4,80,738 Indians who’ve registered on MEA’s on-line ‘REPAT’ portal haven’t but returned.

“The actual number of people wishing to return may differ. As per information provided by the missions, many people who have registered may no longer wish to return. Moreover, as per latest guidelines of Government of India, passengers are no longer required to register for Air Bubble flights,” he mentioned.

“Most people with compelling reasons have safely returned to their homes by air, land and sea. The exercise to bring back stranded Indians is ongoing under the Vande Bharat Mission,” he mentioned.

“Our Missions have assisted more than 62,000 Indian nationals in distress involving an expenditure of nearly Rs 22.5 crores from the Indian Community Welfare Fund,” he mentioned.

Responding to a separate query on the variety of college students and employees introduced again underneath the Vande Bharat Mission, Muraleedharan mentioned 56,630 college students and three,08,099 employees had been introduced again.

Asked concerning the particulars of the services being given to the employees introduced again to the nation, the minister mentioned, “With the aim of making the best of our skilled workforce returning to the country due to the ongoing pandemic, the Government of India launched an initiative SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support) to conduct a skill mapping exercise of the returning citizens under the Vande Bharat Mission.”

SWADES, a joint initiative of the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, the Ministry of Civil Aviation and the Ministry of External Affairs, is aimed to create a database of certified residents based mostly on their ability units and expertise to faucet into and fulfil demand of Indian and international corporations.

This was completed to facilitate reintegration of migrant employees into the labour market and promote efficient employment alternatives, he mentioned.

“For facilitating employment opportunities, details of SWADES registrations have been integrated with Skill India’s ASEEM (Aatmanirbhar Skilled Employee Employer Mapping) portal which was launched on July 10, 2020,” he mentioned.

All information relating to Indians returning underneath Vande Bharat Mission was additionally shared with related state governments, on an actual time foundation, he mentioned.

Muraleedharan additionally asserted that there was no delay in bringing again employees who have been caught in numerous international locations within the Gulf area.

He mentioned precedence has been given to international locations within the Gulf area for scheduling flights to deliver again the stranded employees underneath the Vande Bharat Mission. PTI 

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