334 Indians died due to COVID-19 in 2020--Indian Ambassador told in open house

 

 

In 2020, 334 Indians died due to COVID-19 out of 1,279 deaths of Indians registered in Kuwait, Indian Ambassador Sibi George told an open house at the Indian Embassy yesterday. Addressing community members, he said the embassy registered 572 more death cases in 2020 than the 707 cases in 2019.

Deaths due to natural causes also rose to 786 in 2020 from 551 in 2019, an increase of 235. “The situation is not looking very good this year. In January 2021, we had 101 deaths of Indians registered at the mission, against 55 deaths in January 2020 and 63 deaths in January 2019. At the same time, this number is smaller than the most difficult months of last year, when we lost 288 Indians in July and 172 in August,” the ambassador revealed, expressing condolences to the families of the deceased.

In the first week of February, the embassy issued an advisory to the community in view of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation. “We have seen that in recent weeks, there has been a spike in cases. I reiterate to all to adhere to and abide by the regulations and procedures announced by the government of Kuwait to combat and limit the spread of the coronavirus as part of our individual and collective responsibility to deal with the pandemic,” George said. He said the embassy is ready to provide assistance including meeting the medical expenses of all emergency medical cases on a “means tested basis”.

The ambassador held a meeting with the Indian Community Support Group (ICSG) on Tuesday, where he discussed the next steps in view of the emerging pandemic situation. He said the embassy will continue to provide air tickets to all deserving cases and make travel arrangements to those who need medical escort. As part of India’s evacuation mission ‘Vande Bharat Mission’, over 180,000 Indians have travelled back to India from Kuwait. The mission is still operational, he added.

On the issue of Indians who are stranded in India and in transit in Dubai and elsewhere, George said the embassy is in constant touch with authorities to facilitate their early return to Kuwait. “But we are not sure when they can come to Kuwait. Our missions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are extending all possible help to those stranded in Dubai. I am continuing my meetings with the Kuwaiti leadership to raise all issues of interest and concern of the community,” he added.-K.T.

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