With nowhere to go, stranded 19 Indian passengers at Dubai airport provided hotel rooms, food

Madhuri Adnal

New Delhi, Mar 27: Around 19 Indian nationals stranded at the Dubai airport for past six days have now been provided with hotel rooms inside the airport by the Authorities in Dubai.

The situation was grim as UAE, one of the busiest airports in the world, had stopped all the operations in view of coronavirus ourbreak which had killed more than 24,000 people globally.

The 22 Indian passengers were in transit at the Dubai Airport when New Delhi announced the decision to impose a ban on passenger flights. Some of them have been at the airport since March 18.

Stuck in the transit area of international terminal of the airport, Rajendran Nair took to Twitter to appeal to the ministry of external affairs for help.

"I am an Indian citizen and I am stuck here for the last 48 hours without any way to India due to the border closure," he tweeted. "I cannot travel to Russia as I live there because they have taken the same steps. I am basically stuck in no mans land without a place to stay in a common area where I could easily contract COVID 19."

Speaking to OneIndia, Sajeev Purushothaman, BJP's Kerala NRI Cell spokesperson, had assured all the assistance.

He had also said that he would speak to VM Muraleedharan, Union Minister of State for External Affairs & Parliamentary Affairs, and ambassador and reslove the issue at the earlierst.

With the quck action and efforts, several Indian passengers who were stranded at the Dubai International Airport were moved to hotel rooms and provided with basic essentials.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai thanked the UAE government for making arrangements for the passengers as New Delhi has still not given permission to repatriate them.

Vipul, the Consul General of India to Dubai, tweeted,''We thank the UAE authorities for accommodating the 19 Indian nationals who were stuck at Dubai airport for past several days. They got stranded due to various restrictions to deal with Covid-19 pandemic. Hotel rooms have been given to them inside the airport.''

''Our Consulate had been in constant touch with the Indian nationals & UAE and Indian authorities. We had also provided some financial help to enable our stranded passengers to buy food. The situation was tough due to the pandemic situation,'' also said.

The Indian passengers had arrived from European destinations such as Lisbon, Budapest, Barcelona and at least 11 passengers arrived from Sydney.

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With many Indians stranded across the world, the MEA has established a functional helpline on COVID-19, which is available 24X7. It recommends that Indians stranded abroad should get in touch with the Indian mission and the COVID helpline.

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday held separate telephonic conversation with Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on the coronavirus pandemic.

In conversation with with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the two leaders exchanged information and views on the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation in their respective countries, as well as the steps being taken by their governments to deal with the situation.

"Both leaders emphasised the importance they attach to the strength and richness of the bilateral relationship. They agreed to maintain regular consultations between their officials in the present situation, particularly to ensure continuity of logistical supply lines," the MEA said.

The Crown Prince assured Modi about the welfare of the over 2 million Indians living in the UAE. The prime minister thanked the Crown Prince for his personal attention to the health and safety of Indian expatriates in the present situation.

"Prime Minister expressed his best wishes for the good health of the Crown Prince and the entire Royal Family as well as all Emirati citizens," the MEA said.

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