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Tue 14 Apr 2020 09:26 AM

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Covid-19: Indian expats abroad cannot return home for at least one month

The UAE has said it is reconsidering its relationship with countries that have not responded to repatriation requests from citizens employed in the UAE private sector

Covid-19: Indian expats abroad cannot return home for at least one month

The seven cases included expats in the UAE and UK-based students.

Indian expatriates stranded abroad – including those in the UAE – will be unable to return to their homeland for at least another month, according to India’s Supreme Court.

On Monday, Chief Justice Arvind Bobde deferred a hearing of seven cases from stranded citizens that opposed the government’s decision to shut its borders for a four-week period, urging Indians to “stay where you are”.

The seven cases included expats in the UAE and UK-based students.

State officials in various parts of India have expressed concern about coronavirus positive individuals returning from abroad, including from the Middle East.

In the southern state of Kerala, for example, 87 of 119 confirmed cases that came from overseas are believed to have come from Dubai, according to state government figures.

According to The National newspaper, India’s Consulate in Dubai has recently received repatriation requests from 800 residents and one employer seeking to send back 1,000 staff members.

UAE criticism

On Monday, the Federation of the UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) said it is reconsidering its relationship with countries that have not responded to repatriation requests from citizens employed in the UAE private sector.

“They must be more cooperative to maintain the best interest of all parties in the future,” said FCCI chairman Mohammed Thani Al Rumaithi.

The UAE’s state-run WAM news agency said the FCCI and UAE Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) have a number of options, including restructuring their agreements and levels of cooperation with countries who refuse to receive their citizens.

“Unfortunately, some countries are ignoring all the humanitarian and constitutional principles by refusing to welcome their citizens or taking responsibility of transferring them home,” Al Rumaithi added.

“Not allowing them to enter their homeland is against all principles of human rights, international conventions and citizenship rights,” he said.

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