Around 2,500 Indians have approached Indian missions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seeking help to be flown home during the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, top diplomats have said.
The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai together have received requests from "a little more than 1,000 individuals" while the latter has received an additional request from an employer who has laid-off around 1,000 Indian workers, reports Gulf News on Monday.
According to the Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor, the missions have not been bombarded with mass requests from the people who wish to take an immediate flight home unlike widespread reports on social media.
Most of the individuals who have expressed their interest to return home are visitors and those who lost their jobs, he told Gulf News.
Consul General of India in Dubai, Vipul said his mission had received nearly 1000 requests via email and phone from people who want to return home.
"A majority of them are visit visa holders. On Sunday, we got information about another large group of around 1,000 Indian workers who have lost jobs. The employer has got in touch to know the options to send them back home as early as possible," he told Gulf News.
However, the diplomatic heads refuted unverified reports that claim tens of thousands of Indians were scrambling to fly home during the pandemic.
They added that the missions have been aiding hundreds of workers, who have been left in the lurch by their employers, with provisions.
The Indian government had said that flight services cannot be resumed during the lockdown period, which has now been extended till May 3.