‘Not possible to evacuate Indians from Bangladesh or any other countries’

Central government informs HC that move taken due to lockdown in the wake of COVID-19

The Central government on Friday informed the Delhi High Court that due to the lockdown to contain the spread COVID-19, it was “not possible” to organise any evacuation of Indians from Bangladesh or any other countries.

The Centre’s response before the court came on a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal seeking direction to the authorities to take steps for safe return of Indians who are stuck in Bangladesh.

The Ministry of External Affairs said after the Indian government announced a nationwide lockdown, the Bangladesh government too announced a similar lockdown from March 26 to April 4.

“In such a as situation, both in India as well as in Bangladesh, it is not possible for the Ministry to organise any evacuation of Indians nationals from Bangladesh or any other countries,” the Ministry said in its affidavit.

The approach of the Ministry, it said, has been to advise the Indians nationals to stay put where they are in line with Centre’s approach to contain the spread of COVID-19 within the country and allowing Health Ministry to focus on domestic containment, it said.

“The severe risk posed by arrivals from an increasing number of countries affected by COVID-19 is something that the government is seeking to minimise. Indian missions abroad have been asked to extend help and facilitation to stranded Indian nationals to the extent possible,” the Ministry told the High Court.

The Indian government has so far undertaken evacuation operations in four countries — China, Iran, Japan and Italy — from February 1 till March 15 and has evacuated a total of 1,698 persons.

Several persons evacuated from these countries have been subjected to quarantine in India. It also said, “There are limited quarantine facilities available in India at present.”

It also said that all medical colleges in Bangladesh where Indian students are staying have been requested to open at least one mess facility to provide food to them. The Ministry also submitted that efforts have been made to provide appropriate medical and other assistance, if required, to India in Bangladesh.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:56:12 AM |

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