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Coronavirus | Indian consulate in Houston helps stranded Indians

Concept showing Indian passport and U.S. currency notes.

Concept showing Indian passport and U.S. currency notes.   | Photo Credit: istock.com/subodhsathe

There are no evacuation plans by India at this point as some believe, said Aseem Mahajan, the Indian Consul-General in Houston.

The Indian consulate here has come to the rescue of stranded Indians in America amidst the coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown in many countries.

The sudden cancellation of commercial flights to India and other parts of the world has left several Indian students, business travellers and family visitors stranded in many U.S. states.

The Consulate General of India here, which looks after the Indo-U.S. diplomatic matters in the American states of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas, has been providing them support.

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The consulate has been responding to the flood of inquiries and providing assistance. However, there are no evacuation plans by India at this point as some believe. There are no flights going to India till April 14 and things may change depending on the situation, Aseem Mahajan, the Indian Consul-General in Houston, told PTI.

Those stranded are facing problems like lack of boarding and lodging and medical issues. Some students had to vacate college dorms and are struggling to find food and shelter because of limited resources and no flights to return to India. Their parents are equally worried and have been continuously contacting the consulate for help, he said.

Online classes

Mr. Mahajan urged the students to stay positive and focus on their studies as all schools have resumed classes online.

Many universities are providing all possible help to students. They have been put up in residence halls with access to dining services and campuses are secure, he said.

Some Indians, including researchers and project engineers, on a short visit to the U.S., were scheduled to return after their project completion but are stranded now and facing visa issues. Others visiting their aged parents, with pre-existing health issues, are facing difficulty procuring medications as their Indian prescription does not work here,” Mr. Mahajan said.

He said various private bodies such as the American Association of Physicians of Indian Orgin are offering medical consultations.

Globally, over 1.5 million people have been infected so far by the coronavirus and the fatalities stands at nearly 95,000. The United States accounts for nearly 30% of the all the COVID-19 positive cases and over 17% of all fatalities.

In the U.S., the virus has claimed over 16,000 lives and infected over 4,60,000 people.

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Printable version | Jun 2, 2020 7:20:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/coronavirus-indian-consulate-in-houston-helps-stranded-indians/article31307360.ece

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