Almost 2,500 non-resident Indians (NRIs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have applied to be flown home to India to be with their families during the covid-19 crisis, according to local UAE news reports.
Around 2,500 Indians have approached Indian consulates in the UAE seeking help to be flown home during the current lockdown, according to reports in Gulf News.
The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi and the Indian Consulate in Dubai together have received requests from "a little more than 1,000 individuals."
According to Gulf News the Indian Consulate has received an additional request from an employer who has laid-off around 1,000 Indian workers.
However, the UAE missions were at pains to point out that rumours of vast numbers requesting travel assistance circulating on social media were untrue.
The Indian ambassador to the UAE, Pavan Kapoor, said his embassy had not been bombarded with mass requests from the people who wish to take an immediate flight home contrary to the widespread reports on social media.
Vipul, India's consul-general in the UAE, said: "A majority of [these applicants] are visit visa holders. Just this morning (Sunday), we got information about another large group of around 1,000 Indian workers who have lost jobs. The employer has got in touch to know the options to send them back home as early as possible."