DUBAI: The UAE authorities are taking steps to help many stranded passengers, including 22 Indians, who were on transit at the Dubai airport when their home countries suddenly stopped all the inbound flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, a media report said on Friday.
Dubai Airports issued a statement informing that airlines and embassies are now working to send the stranded passengers, some of them since March 18, to their home countries, the Khaleej Times reported.
“Passengers who are stranded at Dubai International because of the cancellation of their onward flights are being assisted by Dubai Airports’ staff by referring them to their airlines and embassies who are working to repatriate them to their home countries,” the statement said.
Several countries halted all the inbound flights since early this month after the coronavirus outbreak was declared pandemic by the World Health Organisation.
Like several nations, India announced a total lock down from March 25 to contain the spread of the deadly virus.
Some of the stranded passengers have been at the Dubai airport since March 18.
At the Dubai airport, passengers of other nationalities have also suffered a similar state since many countries have imposed such bans.
Furthermore, UAE has closed all its airports since Monday.
The Indian mission said it is presently working with the UAE government to make arrangements for the passengers as India has still not given permission to repatriate them.
“We don’t have permission for repatriation of stranded Indian passengers. We are looking at what arrangements can be made for the passengers, and what they can be provided with, in coordination with the UAE government,” said Vipul, Consul General of India to Dubai.
Meanwhile, passengers at the airport said they are optimistic that the government of India will do something to help them.
The Indian passengers arrived from European destinations such as Lisbon, Budapest, Barcelona and at least 11 passengers arrived from Sydney, the report said.
The number of COVID-19 cases across the globe has skyrocketed to 531,860 and a total of 24,057 people have died so far.
At 85,653, the US now has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, surpassing China and Italy.
Nearly 1300 people have died in the US due to the disease.