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Visas of Indians stranded in Gulf extended, won’t return home anytime soon: Centre

PTI, Apr 18, 2020, 8:14 AM IST

Kochi: The Centre on Friday informed the Kerala High Court that there was no immediate plan to bring back the Indian citizens stranded in the Gulf countries due to the novel coronavirus outbreak and that the expatriates had been granted visa extension.

The counsel for the central government made the submission before a division bench comprising justices Rajavijayaraghavan and T R Ravi during the hearing of a plea seeking a direction to bring back Indians stranded in the UAE.

Permission of the Gulf countries was required to send medical teams there to carry out medical examination of the stranded Indians, the counsel said when the court sought to know the Centre’s view on Kerala government sending medical teams to the Gulf countries to deal with the issue of COVID-19 disease among Malayalees there.

The court posted the plea for April 21 for consideration after the Central government informed that a similar petition is under consideration of the Supreme Court.

In its plea, Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) in Dubai, the organisation for non-resident Indians from Kerala, sought directions to the Ministries of External Affairs and Civil Aviation to provide exemptions in the international air travel ban to bring back Indians stranded in the UAE.

The petitioners noted that those who return could be kept in quarantine as per the protocol of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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