The novel coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdowns in various parts of the word has left many people stranded. India has been bringing stranded citizens back by increments and according to an India Today report, is planning to evacuate over 400,000 Indians from six Gulf Cooperative Council countries soon.
According to the report this includes senior citizens, pregnant women and children who are at present stuck in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and Qatar. They would be taken back in a phased manner. Reportedly, India is at present putting the final touches on the plan.
This evacuation process, if undertaken would be the largest of its kind, not just in the context of the novel coronavirus pandemic, but in the country's history. A vast majority of these stranded individuals are from Kerala, and reportedly, around 220,000 of them have valid job visas. There are also 57,436 tourists, 20,219 dependents and 7,276 students among the stranded.
The Kerala government has recently launched a website to allow people to register so that they can then be brought back from various countries once the Centre approves of the same. According to a PTI report, a recent state government order had added that people wishing to return home could register on the NORKA (Non-Resident Keralites Affairs) website. They would however have to get tested for the novel coronavirus and obtain a negative certificate first.
India has so far recorded over 33,000 positive cases of the novel coronavirus. The death toll has risen to 1074 while 8324 people have recovered, data provided by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shows.