60,000 foreign nationals evacuated from India: MEA

60,000 foreign nationals evacuated from India: MEA

Agency News

New Delhi, Apr 30: Amid the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said around 60,000 foreign nationals from 72 countries were evacuated from India. MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the issue of evacuation of Indians stranded abroad is also under discussion and that all the Indian missions are extending all possible assistance to the diaspora community. Indian missions are making exceptional efforts to provide assistance to stranded Indians, he said at an online briefing.

On China's criticism of the decision by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to stop use of COVID-19 rapid testing kits supplied by two Chinese companies, Mr Srivastava said that the matter is being handled by the premier medical body. The ICMR on Monday asked the states and union territories to stop using the test kits procured from the Chinese companies "Guangzhou Wondfo Biotech and Zhuhai Livzon Diagnostics" due to "wide variations" in their performance. He also said that India has provided 2.8 million hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) tablets and 1.9 million paracetamol tablets to over 20 countries as part of its assistance.

India also provided HCQ and paracetamol tablets to a large number of countries on commercial basis. Hydroxychloroquine has been identified by the US Food and Drug Administration as a possible treatment for the COVID-19. The MEA Covid-19 Control Room has remained very active. It has received more than 10,000 calls and 30,000 e-mails till date, he added. (UNI)