Indian Ambassador in Saudi Arabia, Dr Ausaf Sayeed, has suggested non-resident Indians (NRIs) to opt for passport number as identification in vaccine certificates. Dr Sayeed said that most NRIs back in India are putting Aadhaar number registration that could bring trouble to enter the Kingdom.
Addressing Indian community leaders virtually, the Indian envoy highlighted that the Covishield vaccine by AstraZeneca is one of the approved vaccines by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Saudi Arabia. Dr Sayeed also requested NRIs to take a Covishield jab as the Saudi administration has approved it.
The Ambassador mentioned that the Saudi Health Ministry had also been notified that a few Indians are being given Covaxin which is not on the list of approved medicines. The Indian government is working for getting it recognised and listed by WHO that is likely to happen between August and September.
As per the envoy, the embassy is closely working with authorities to address the prime concerns of NRIs about the first jab in Saudi Arabia and another in India. Dr Sayeed revealed that around 600 Saudi-bound NRIs are stranded in Bahrain as uninoculated expatriates cannot take the King Fahad Causeway that links the two Gulf countries. However, they can enter Saudi by air and follow institutional quarantine norms, added the Ambassador.
“Indian embassies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are trying to resolve the issue of stranded NRIs in Bahrain,” he elaborated, mentioning that the Indian Embassy scrutinising the issue of stranded Saudi-bound NRIs in Nepal.
Dr Sayeed told Indians to double-check when they are transiting through any third nation to comply with the 14-day mandatory quarantine norm as countries like Bahrain suspended the entry of inbound Indian flights.
The envoy has urged the embassy to send life-saving drugs, especially Amphotericin from Saudi Arabia by NRIs to their families and loved ones living in India. He has been coordinating with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) to expedite clearance as drugs for Black Fungus disease are available in the Middle East but require permission to send them out to the country.
Saudi Arabia has supplied 240 million tonnes of liquid oxygen to India so far, which was purchased by Reliance, Adani Group, L&T and Indian Oil Corporation.