Govt hopes more nations to ease movement of Indians as Covid situation improves
The Union government on Thursday said it has been taking up the issue of travel restrictions for Indians with foreign governments as the Covid-19 situation in the country has improved considerably, adding some positive steps in this regard and more nations are likely to normalise the movement of people.
“With the improvement in the Covid situation in India, we have been taking up with foreign countries the issue of easing travel restrictions for Indians. We believe that this is an important element towards economic recovery,” Arindam Bagchi, spokesperson for the ministry of external affairs, was quoted as saying on Thursday.
The remarks came at a time when many people, especially students studying in universities in countries like China, Italy and others, struggled to travel back due to the ongoing restrictions.
“There have been some positive steps in this direction and we would hope that more countries take steps to normalise the movement of people from India,” Bagchi said, reiterating a demand that the ministry has been making with these nations ever since the number of daily new infections reduced following the deadly second wave of Covid-19 in India.
Earlier in the month, the ministry made a similar statement and said it expected many countries to ease the travel restrictions for Indians as the Covid-19 situation had “vastly improved” then. “As we have said earlier, we hope that with the vastly improved Covid situation in India, countries would ease restrictions for travel from India. We have been taking up this issue with foreign partners wherever possible,” Bagchi said on July 8, while responding to a question about difficulties faced by Indian citizens travelling abroad. He had also highlighted meetings held by external affairs minister S Jaishankar and minister of state V Muraleedharan to resolve the issue.
Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday extended its ban on international flights from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka owing to pandemic concerns.
At the peak of the second wave, the number of daily new Covid-19 infections in India had increased alarmingly and over 4,00,000 cases were reported on a daily basis. The infections were driven in part by the Delta variant of Covid-19.
On Thursday, the country registered over 41,000 new cases and 507 fatalities. So far, 3,12,57,720 cases and 4,18,987 deaths have been recorded in the country.
(With inputs from PTI)