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Press Release on COVID-19 situation

Posted on: April 17, 2020 | Back | Print

Embassy of India

April 17, 2020

Press Release


     The Embassy is closely monitoring the situation on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in Saudi Arabia, and is taking all the requisite measures to ensure the welfare of Indian citizens in the Kingdom.

  1. As per information available with the Embassy as of April 17, five Indian nationals, Mr. Shebnaz Pala Kandiyil, Mr. Safvan Nadamal, both from Kerala, Mr. Suleman Sayyid Junaid from Maharashtra, Mr. Badre Alam from Uttar Pradesh and Mr Azmatullah Khan from Telangana have sadly passed away due to the disease in the Kingdom.
  2. The measures taken by the Embassy, inter alia, include the following:
  • Setting up of a dedicated 24/7 helpline: +966 546103992 (including Whatsapp) and Email: covid19indianembassy@gmail.com to receive calls from Indians across the Kingdom to provide information, allay concerns and also to be informed of emergency situations.
  • The Ambassador has issued a message to the community through social media (in multiple languages). A video message has also been recorded by the Saudi Ministry of Health for circulation in the community regarding the various precautionary measures to be taken.
  • The Embassy is in close touch with all major companies in the Kingdom that employ Indian workers and have requested them to ensure that all precautionary measures are put in place such as social distancing norms and monitoring of health of workers, especially in labour camps.
  • A Whatsapp Group of Indian Doctors has been created, to reach out in case of any emergency situations, and also provide a first line of access to medical help to Indians who may not be able to reach a medical facility due to the lockdown.
  • On April 14, Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed interacted with Indian community Volunteers and Social Workers and took their feedback. Volunteers of all major community organisations and Social Workers have been brought fully in the loop to help monitor the situation closely and take up various activities such as supply of food, medicines and other emergency assistance to stranded Indians.
  • On April 15, Ambassador Dr. Ausaf Sayeed interacted online with Indian media persons based in Saudi Arabia to discuss the prevailing situation with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and the various measures taken by the Embassy to address the concerns of members of the Indian community and ensure their welfare. More than 50 media-persons representing various media houses based in the Kingdom participated in the discussion.
  • Embassy is also in touch with major food supply chains and Indian restaurants for delivery of food to places from where requests are received.
  • Embassy is also in touch with hotel chains and business groups for the possible creation of quarantine zones for the community if the need arises.
  1. The above measures reflect the commitment of the Government of India that welfare of Indians all over the world is a top priority. This was also highlighted by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi in a video conference with all Indian Heads of Missions held on March 30, 2020.
  2. The Gulf region in general and Saudi Arabia in particular is of critical importance to India due to the size of the diaspora. Prime Minister spoke to Crown Prince HRH Mohammad bin Salman on March 17 to discuss the efforts to fight the pandemic. Prime Minister also participated in the G-20 Virtual Summit held on March 26 to discuss the global impact of the pandemic.
  3. Due to the extension of the lockdown in India and international flights remaining suspended in the interest and safety of Indians, there is no immediate plan for evacuation at this stage. The Embassy is in constant touch with authorities in both India and Saudi Arabia and will communicate through its social media accounts and website in case of any developments in this regard.
  4. The Embassy reiterates the need for the community to remain calm and show high sense of responsibility and self-discipline, and extend full support to the Saudi authorities in dealing with the situation. All precautionary measures to control the pandemic such as following social distancing norms, staying at home and avoiding gatherings, must be strictly adhered to.
  5. Community members are advised to reach out to the Embassy through the helpline (+966 546103992) in the case of any emergencies or difficulties arising due to the prevailing situation, and visit the Embassy website (www.eoiriyadh.gov.in) and social media accounts (twitter : @IndianEmbRiyadh; Facebook : India in Saudi Arabia) regularly for various updates and advisories related to COVID-19.
  6. Embassy of India, Riyadh is at the disposal of the Indian Community 24/7 and remains the ‘Home away from Home’ for all Indian nationals.