New Delhi: In good news for Indian citizens stranded in gulf countries, Navy chief Admiral Karambir Singh on Friday said that the Navy will evacuate them as soon as it gets a go-ahead from the government. Also Read - Coronavirus Hits Indian Navy, At Least 20 Sailors Test Positive in Mumbai

Speaking at a press conference addressed by the three service chiefs, including himself, as well as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat, the Navy chief said, “We have a large diaspora in the Gulf. We were asked to be ready for evacuation of our citizens from gulf countries. So we have readied our ships and will go for the evacuation as soon as we get the go-ahead.” Also Read - Milan 2020: Indian Navy Postpones Naval Exercise Amid Fears of Coronavirus Outbreak

The development comes just days after India reached out to gulf countries like the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuawait etc. to get permission to evacuate its citizens stranded there.

In today’s press conference, notably, CDS General Rawat also announced a series of activities that will be undertaken by the Indian Armed Forces on May 3 as a gesture of thanks to the frontline COVID-19 workers. These include a flypast by the Air Force, lighting of ships by the Navy and Army bands playing outside medical buildings in most districts.

India’s current COVID-19 tally stands at 35,365, of which 25,148 are active cases, 9,065 patients have recovered and 1,152 casualties.

The Centre today extended the nationwide lockdown for a second time, till May 17, just two days before the ‘second phase’ of the lockdown was scheduled to end on May 3.