New Delhi: Both India and Pakistan are ‘apparently’ reluctant to fly its people home from Dubai amid the outbreak of the COVID-19, an editorial published in the Gulf News has alleged. Also Read - Indian Railways Latest News: 1310 Special Trains Will Originate & Terminate in South Central Railway Zone During Festivals

“More than 20,000 Pakistanis- residents who lost their jobs, tourists and visitors, registered at their consulate last week to go home, as was reported by Gulf News on 5 April. The next day, however, the Pakistani consulate announced that it was closing its door for two weeks. Ahmed Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistani in Dubai, told Gulf News that the consulate staff would continue to provide free ration to those who are in need, such as rice, sugar, flour and cereals. Also Read - Corona Vaccine Latest News: Govt Readies Database to Vaccinate Health Workers First, States/UTs to Provide Details by Next Friday

“But the truth is that those 20,000 who registered with the mission didn’t want rations; they simply want to go home. The same can be said with tens of thousands of Indian expats in the UAE who remain stranded — some lost their jobs because of the pandemic; many others came as tourists or visitors,” the editorial said. Also Read - COVID-19 Positive Para-Archer Ankit Discharged From Hospital, to Remain in Isolation

Recently, a group of 22 Indians stranded in the UAE due to the travel ban due to the coronavirus pandemic have been provided with food supplies by the Indian Consulate, after they posted their plight on Twitter. The Indian men have valid visit visas and were brought to the UAE by fraudulent employment agents in early March. But they got stuck due to the travel restrictions across the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Khaleej Times had reported earlier.

Several countries halted all the inbound flights since early this month after the coronavirus outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation. India too announced a total lockdown from March 25 to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to PM Modi seeking the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure that the Keralite workforce in the country. According to a Hindu report, the UAE has offered to fly stranded Indian nationals who are unaffected by the biral outbreak. The MEA has not yet responded to the offer.