Covid-19: Hundreds of Indian citizens repatriated from UAE, Saudi Arabia

A total of 350 Indian nationals departed the UAE on Thursday, while 152 left Riyadh on Friday

India has begun repatriating its citizens from the UAE and Saudi Arabia amid border closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency, a total of 350 Indian nationals departed the UAE on two flights on Thursday with the help of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MoFAIC).

Pavan Kapoor, India’s ambassador to the UAE, praised the UAE authorities for carefully screening passengers to ensure they were symptom free before departing.

Earlier in the week, Indian consular officials in the UAE pleaded for patience and noted that then country’s diplomatic missions in the country had received nearly 200,000 registrations for repatriation flights.

In Saudi Arabia, the Indian Embassy began repatriations on Friday.

“The first flight from Saudi Arabia for the evacuation of Indian nationals has departed from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh,” the embassy said on Friday.

The initial flight – which carried 152 passengers – headed to the Indian city of Kozhikode, in Kerala state.

Another flight from Riyadh, headed to New Delhi, is scheduled for May 10, with another flight from Dammam to Kochi scheduled for May 12.

Two additional flights from Jeddah to Kerala are scheduled for later in the week.

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