Muscat: Thousands of Indians stranded in Oman during the lockdown to curb spread of coronavirus can return home soon.
This comes after the Indian government announced that they will be facilitating the return of Indian nationals stranded abroad, including those in Oman in a phased manner, starting from May 7.
Munu Mahawar, India’s ambassador to Oman, said while speaking to TFM, the Times of Oman’s radio station, “For Indian nationals in Oman, I would request them to register on the embassy website,” he said. “We have a form that can be filled up, and this requires certain information such as your personal details, passport number. Once we get that information, we can then form a fair idea of a person’s need to travel. On this basis, we can assess their need to travel and the nature of their urgency.
He said that specific announcements will be made for Indian nationals in the Sultanate who wish to travel home. In the meantime, they will need to register themselves by filling in a form on the embassy’s website.
“This will be done in a phased manner. I would wait for everyone to wait for further announcements from the embassy, and in time, we will be able to accommodate anyone who wishes to travel to India,” added the ambassador.
According to the government of India, the evacuation process will be arranged by aircraft and naval ships, Indian Embassies and High Commissions are preparing a list of distressed Indian citizens. This facility will be made available on a payment basis. Non-scheduled commercial flights will be arranged for air travel and the travel shall begin in a phased manner.
The India Press Information Bureau release says that medical screening of passengers will also be done before taking the flight. Only asymptomatic passengers are to be allowed to travel. During the journey, all these passengers must follow the protocols issued by the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Civil Aviation. On reaching the destination, everyone must register on the Arogya Setu app.
“They have to undergo a two week quarantine in India, and a detailed list of procedures they need to follow will be shared with them,” said Munu Mahawar. “We know that there are a lot of people who are waiting to go back home. Yes, it has taken some time, but we request people to be patient with us. Please bear with us, we will get back to all of you on this.”
With the ambassador aware that many Indian nationals in Oman had signed up with their respective state governments, who had begun preparing lists of those who wish to return home, he asked people in Oman to re-register themselves with the embassy, so that it would be easier for them to coordinate travel back to India.
“Some state governments have done this registration, and the central government has been working closely with state governments,” he explained, using the registration initiative set up by the state of Kerala as an example. “My suggestion for those in Oman who wish to travel is to register on the embassy website. For those who have registered with the government of Kerala, I would request them to re-register on the embassy website.”
The Indian Ministries of External Affairs and Civil Aviation are expected to soon share detailed information about it through their websites. State governments are being advised to make arrangements, including for testing, quarantine and onward movement of the returning Indians in their respective states.