Coronavirus pandemic | Govt gives stranded foreigners exemption from lockdown

The government on Thursday allowed transit arrangements for stranded foreign nationals and also the evacuation of those foreigners, who arrived in India post-February 15 after their quarantine period and tested coronavirus negative, officials said. It said only those foreign nationals would be allowed to leave, who are asymptomatic for COVID-19.

In an order, the Home Ministry said the decisions have been taken exercising the powers, conferred under the Disaster Management Act.

According to the order, the home ministry allowed transit arrangements for foreign nationals, who are currently in India, and release of quarantined persons, who have arrived in India after February 15, after the expiry of their quarantine period and tested COVID-19 negative.

The home ministry said it has been brought to its notice that a number of foreign nationals are stranded in different parts of the country due to the lockdown measures.

Some foreign countries have approached the government for evacuation of their nationals.

In view of these, it has now been decided that requests received from foreign governments, for evacuation of their nationals from India, would be examined by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on case to case basis, the order said.

In cases where such requests are endorsed by MEA, the following protocol would be observed: The chartered flight would be arranged by the concerned foreign government in consultation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, prior to departure, the foreign nationals would be screened for COVID-19 symptoms according to standard health protocol.

In case of symptomatic persons, the future course of treatment would be followed, as per the standard health protocol, the home ministry said.

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