Repatriate Indian Nationals from Maldives to save from COVID19 by Flight Service
To 17 April 2020
Hon'ble Shri. Dr. S. Jaishankar,
The Union Minister for External Affairs,
Ref: MADAD Grievance Id MO0RPT106567520 dated 19/04/2020
Sub: “Requisition to arrange flight service to repatriate the Non Resident Indians stranded at Maldives on government expenses due to spread of COVID19 pandemic – reg”
This petition is meant to save the lives of Non Resident Indians living at the Republic of Maldives, by repatriating them to India enabling them to avail the provision of getting tested and treated for COVID19, if found positive.
More than 29,000 Indians live in Maldives and about 22,000 of them live in Malé', the capital city. They are employed as nurses, teachers, managers, doctors, engineers, accountants and other professionals. Besides them, there are skilled and unskilled personnel such as technicians, masons, tailors, plumbers, and other labourers. A sizeable proportion work in the tourism-related industries.
The National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) has warned that over 96,000 people may become infected with COVID-19 in the Maldives without the current measures taken against the virus. The Health Protection Agency (HPA)'s Medical Officer Dr. Nazla Rafeeq said if inadequate precautionary measures are taken, over 96,000 people are at the risk of being infected with the virus. The study shows over 46,000 people will be infected from the Male' region, and another 51,000 people will likely be infected from the atolls. Dr, Nazla said the situation could escalate to its 'peak' within 45-50 days of initial community transmission. From that point on, over 5000 daily cases are likely to occur, warned Dr. Nazla. Speaker of the parliament Mohamed Nasheed provided information on the existing medical facilities in the Maldives and the number of facilities required for a severe outbreak of the virus. He said to prepare for a severe situation, 247 intensive care beds will be required while 235 beds are currently available in the capital Male’ region. He added that a total of 740 hospital beds will be needed whereas there are only 687 beds currently available, and there are 45 ventilators while it may require 197. Moreover, it will require 367 doctors, 608 intensive care nurses, and 252 nurse attendants. If a lockdown is imposed, it will be to acquire the necessary resources, and facilities to prepare for an outbreak, said Nasheed.
The Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital at Maldives is gifted by the Government of India led by Rajiv Gandhi by a memorandum signed during October 1988. Also, there is no sufficient medical facilities to combat the spread of COVID19 and Maldivian Government is converting luxury resorts to coronavirus quarantine centers.
The scarcity for food, medicines and other essential products for survival is affecting our beloved Non Resident Indian community at Maldives. Many NRIs has requested me to favour them to get repatriated due to their fear of COVID19 pandemic.
Hence, I request the Hon’ble Minister to take immediate urgent steps to repatriate Non Resident Indians through the Indian High Commission at Maldives by adopting hassle free mechanism and Indian Social Workers over there by enabling flight service on government expenses and protect the lives of Indian Nationals from the spread of COVID19.
Shri. H. Vasanthakumar, MA, Ex- MLA, MP,
Member of Parliament,
Kanyakumari Constituency, Tamil Nadu State, India
State Working President,
Tamil Nadu Congress Committee,
Indian National Congress.
# 1 - 125 - 7, Kumari Anandhan Street, Agastheeswaram – 629701, Kanyakumari District, Tamil Nadu State, India.