UAE sets up hotline for expats stranded abroad

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 20 March 2020: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has established a round-the-clock helpline to facilitate procedures for valid residence permit holders, who are currently out of the country,and cannot return for two weeks — at least.

The UAE announced a renewable two-week suspension of entry that entered into effect at noon on Thursday, March 19, as part of preventive procedures amidst the spread of Covid-19 around the world.

Holders of valid residence permits overseas and their family members and first-degree relatives in the UAE can call the helpline 009-712-496-5228 for enquiries and assistance for humanitarian and emergency cases to ensure their safe return to the UAE, the ministry said.

The ministry explained that these measures were part of precautionary and preventive efforts taken by the UAE to contain the spread of Covid-19.

India establishes coronavirus helpline for Gulf expats

NEW DELHI: India’s Ministry of External Affairs, (MEA), yesterday announced the establishment of a round-the-clock helpline for worldwide coordination on Covid-19 even as the country’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, appealed for a voluntary, day-long curfew by Indians on Sunday.

The MEA helpline will be available to people in the Gulf for assistance in the eventuality that their families, friends or associates fall victim to a Covid-19 infection or issues related to the spreading Coronavirus.

The telephone numbers of the Control Room are 180-011-8797 (toll free), +91-11-2301-2113, +91-11-2301-4104 and +91-11-2301-7905, The facility’s email is covid19@mea.gov.in and it can be contacted on Fax number +91-11-2301-8158.

Gulf Hotline: In addition, for people calling in from the Gulf states, a team of officers are available to provide specific and special assistance. The team is led by Dr. T. V. Nagendra Prasad, Joint Secretary for the Gulf in the MEA. The Gulf team’s phone numbers are: +91-11-4901-8480 and +91- 920-506-6104.

Similarly, designated officers have been appointed for different geographical areas and specifically for Coronavirus hotspots like Italy, Spain, China and Iran.

With international flights into India being suspended from Sunday and visas already in abeyance, Indians and others in the Gulf who want to coordinate on issues related to Covid-19 will find this helpline useful. Especially if they need to travel to India, but are unable to do so because of restrictions triggered by health concerns.

Modi urged his citizens to practice the concept of a voluntary “People’s Curfew” on Sunday from 7 am to 9 pm, when only those who have to perform essential services would venture out of their homes. He said that the “success of such a people’s movement and the experiences gained from it will prepare us for the challenges ahead.”

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Dubai Gazette