Singapore, Kuwait record highest number of Indians infected with Covid-19
Singapore and Kuwait have emerged as the countries with the highest number of expatriate Indians infected by the Coronavirus, accounting for more than half of the 6,200 such infections reported from across the world, people familiar with developments said on Monday.
More than 2,300 infections among Indian nationals, most of them workers living in dormitories, had been recorded in Singapore till late last week, and more than 1,300 infections were reported among expatriate Indians in Kuwait, the people cited above said on condition of anonymity.
Other countries where sizeable numbers of Covid-19 infections among Indians have been reported are Bahrain and Qatar (about 500 each) and Iran (about 300), the people said.
Iran was the first country where a large number of Indians were infected by the Coronavirus last month. Most of them were elderly Shia pilgrims from Kashmir and states such as Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, and a majority of the infections occurred in the holy city of Qom.
Indian diplomats worked with Iranian authorities to create a special facility in Qom to treat the infected Indians, who are now expected to be brought back from Iran once the nationwide lockdown is eased next month.
As of April 16, the total number of Indians infected in 53 countries was 3,336 and this almost doubled to 6,200 by last week. The total number of infected Indians who have died abroad currently is around 40, the people said.
The welfare and treatment of infected Indians has figured in conversations between the prime minister and external affairs minister and their counterparts in countries such as Singapore and Kuwait.
During a conversation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 23, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said his government “will care for Indian migrant workers here, just as we care for Singaporeans”.
Indians now account for almost a quarter of the more than 11,000 Covid-19 cases recorded in Singapore till last week. Most of Singapore’s infections are work permit holders living in foreign worker dormitories and 25 of these dormitories have been designated isolation areas so far, Channel News Asia reported.
The welfare of Indian nationals also figured in Modi’s recent phone conversation with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah, who said his government “values the contributions of the large Indian community…and would continue to ensure their safety and welfare in the present situation”.