Friday 24 April 2020 12:57 AM UTC
New Delhi April 24: The rules of the lockdown do not allow bringing back stranded Indians, Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan said on Thursday, urging citizens abroad who want to return to be patient till May 3.
The lockdown was imposed in the country from March 25 to April 14, but was extended to May 3 to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Mr Muraleedharan, speaking at a video conference session organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said his ministry was definitely concerned about Indians stranded abroad and was making efforts to bring them back at the earliest.
Asked about Indian students stuck in the US, Mr Muraleedharan said Indian students were stranded across the globe from the Carribean to New Zealand and Australia in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Ministry of External Affairs is working on that. Of course everyone understands that the present situation where there is a lockdown…the spirit and rules of lockdown do not allow us to bring anyone to the country and then get them stranded in India at the airports,” he said, highlighting that there was a travel ban between states, some districts and many hotspots were completely sealed.
“So I am expecting up to 3rd May, please be patient. We are definitely concerned about the situation of not only the students, but also many who have gone on tourist visas or on business visits, all those who are stranded,” Mr Muraleedharan said.
Speaking about the economic impact of COVID-19 and the steps taken by the centre, he said the government is aware of the economic impact of the pandemic and hence, it has transitioned from “Jaan hai toh jahaan hai” to “Jaan bhi jahaan bhi”, emphasizing the need to work on all frontiers.
“It is our duty to support the collective global efforts to mitigate disruptions in the global supply chains by increasing supplies of products where we have available capacity and to ramp up capacity where we can become market leaders,” he said. – PTI
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