Since India is reeling under the deadly second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, several countries, including the West Asian Countries, have imposed a travel ban on India temporarily. The travel ban, however, left many Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) stranded across the country.
As the West Asian countries are likely to start allowing people back by mid-June, NRIs have asked the Karnataka State government to prioritise to inoculate people who are going back to work in West Asia.
NRIs who are getting ready to go back to Dubai, Bahrain, and Kuwait demanded that on May 21, they put forward their demand during a webinar interaction between non-resident Indians and Mangaluru Police Commissioner N. Shashi Kumar organised by Samanvaya.
Karnataka has the second-highest number of NRIs living in West Asia and many of them are from Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts.
The UAE and other countries in West Asia will start allowing people to enter by June, says the president of the NRI Association from the United Arab Emirates, Praveen Shetty.
As per the travel guidelines, the countries will only allow people either with resident visas or have taken both vaccine doses. “We request the government to give priority for vaccinating NRIs,” urged Shetty.
Mansoor, a resident of Bahrain, said that around 2,000 people are stranded in Bahrain as they haven’t been inoculated yet. Surendra, a doctor from Kuwait said, other than vaccination, expatriates are ordered to carry a rapid testing kit for Covid-19.
Commissioner Kumar said he would put suggestions made by the community before Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner K.V. Rajendra.
When asked how the city police helpline (9480802300) will help NRIs, Commissioner Kumar replied that the city police would help reach out to people in distress in the city. “We will pass on details to officials and organisations that will address Covid-19 related concerns.”