After bringing back a group of 113 Indians stuck at Kuala Lumpur back to Chennai, Indian government has ordered its air services to completely terminate all the flights which were dedicated to bring back transit passengers from all over the world back to India. The current restrictions are most probably to be implied uptil 29th march and these restrictions will make it impossible for Indians living outside in city areas of various countries to return back to India until restrictions are lifted.
“There are now just a few Indian nationals who are stranded as transit passengers in different airports, and we are trying to bring them all back,” said Dammu Ravi, additional secretary in the MEA, who is in charge of coordinating the international evacuation effort.
“We brought back those who were stuck in Amsterdam on Sunday night and we hope to bring home the rest,” he added. Special flights may be arranged for about 17 Indians are stuck at London’s Heathrow airport and about 400 Indians are in Iran and these flights will be the last attempt by Indian air services.
Among the 117 persons brought back from Kuala Lumpur there were 80 employees from Tata Consultancy services (TCS) who have travelled to Malaysia on an assignment on March 1.
Last week they were issued tickets on a Sri Lankan airline flight to Colombo, but were turned away just before they boarded the plane, after the Indian Health Ministry and DGCA refused clearance. Around 20 of them who did fly to Colombo, were forced to return by the same flight, and spend the next few days and nights on the carpeted floor in one section of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
“Despite all the hardships, they refused to return to Kuala Lumpur city in case they missed a chance to leave. Above all they feared being abandoned by India, and having nowhere to go in Malaysia, where the coronavirus situation has worsened,” R. Venkataraman, a relative of one of the TCS employees, told the media.