Explained: Why MEA is not keen on bringing back 'everybody' from coronavirus-hit countries
New Delhi, Mar 13: While several Indians from across the world are seen requesting India to help them come back to India, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said the evacuation that is carried out by the Centre is not for "everybody".
This claim by the MEA comes amid India planning to execute an evacuation process for Iran and Italy.
But, why MEA does not want all its Indian nationals to be evacuated from the coronavirus-hit countries?
According to MEA, people who would board the aircraft that is used for the evacuation process would be those who are negative for coronavirus. Also, the MEA made it clear that mo COVID-19 affected patient would be allowed to board the aircraft and head back home.
During the MEA's weekly briefing, the government-appointed coordinator for COVID19-19, Additional Secretary Dammu Ravi said, "Evacuation does not mean we will bring everybody back. We will first bring those who are not contaminated."
Also, the Additional Secretary said that negative cases would be brought back. In Italy, the medical team will go to start screening. In Iran, medical teams are already there for the screening and medical tests are being carried out," he said.
What are the steps taken by the Indian government to prevent the spread of coronavirus?
To a similar question, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while addressing the House on Thursday said, "We can only bring them -- Indian nationals living in the virus-hit countries-- back if they are tested. To test them, we have started taking samples today (March 12) as we can not bring back untested people in a very severe epidemic situation."
The External Affairs Minister also went on to say that he too, has a major role to play to prevent the spread of coronavirus as it is one of his responsibilities to worry about.
Also, the Centre has made t clear that those travelling from Italy or South Korea would have to carry a certificate of tested negative for COVID-19 from the designated laboratories that are authorised by the health authorities of these countries.
Meanwhile, people who are travelling from China, France, Spain, Iran, South Korea, Italy and Germany would be quarantined. This process would come into effect from 12:00 GMT on March 13, 2020, at the port of departure.
India reported its first death due to coronavirus in Karnataka. A 76-year-old man from Kalaburagi, Karnataka was the first Indian to lose his life due to coronovirus, the state government said.
In a tweet, Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu said that all the required contact tracing, isolation and other measures were being taken as the patient had severe co-morbidities such as history of hypertension, diabetes and asthma and appendicitis.