CHANDIGARH: Over 800 people, including foreign nationals and NRIs, stranded in Punjab due to COVID-19 lockdown have been sent to the countries they live in, according to a statement on Saturday.
It said Punjab government facilitated around 825 people to leave for different countries between March 31 till April 9 in line with Union government's Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for their transit arrangements.
In line with the standard health protocols, only those who are asymptomatic for COVID-19 are being allowed to leave the state and in case of symptomatic persons the course of treatment is followed as per the guidelines, the statement issued by the Punjab government said.
Local transportation arrangements from the place of stay of a foreign national to the point of embarkation is arranged by the local embassy or consulate of the respective foreign government, it said.
Besides, the transit pass for movement of the vehicle deployed for the foreign national is issued by the government of the state or union territory where the person is staying, the statement said.
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Punjab DGP Dinkar Gupta in the statement said a committee of senior police officers was involved in the facilitation of the return of the foreign nationals and NRIs to different countries.
In many cases, coordination had to be carried out at the seniormost level with the MEA to get the necessary approvals in time, the director general of police said.
The people who were stranded in Punjab and sent to different countries, include 170 from Canada, 273 from the USA and 57 from Singapore among other nations, Gupta said in the statement.
The central government had on April 2 issued detailed guidelines for strict implementation of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for making transit arrangements for people from other countries stranded in India, the statement said.
The Union government had decided that the requests from countries to send back their citizens would be examined on a case-to-case basis by the Ministry of External Affairs.