WASHINGTON, March 14: The Indian Embassy and its consulates in the US have taken pro-active measures to address the concerns and difficulties being faced by Indians, including students, due to travel restrictions imposed by New Delhi as a preventive measure to fight the deadly coronavirus.
A large number of the more than 200,000 Indians studying in various US universities were schedule to travel to India during the spring break and in particularly during the upcoming summer vacation when the university dorms are closed for the next few months.
"We are in touch with Indian students, university authorities, local officials, Indian American associations and the Government of India to mitigate the difficulties being faced by the students due to the preventive measures being enforced as result of developing medical emergency situation," India's Ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, told PTI.
Similarly, a large number of Indian-Americans, in particularly those having OCI cards (Overseas Citizens of India) had plans to travel to India. But the temporary suspension of visa and the announcement by the Indian Government early this week, that anyone coming from overseas including Indian nationals might be subject to a 14 days quarantine, have forced them to cancel their travel plans.
A number of them have been calling the Indian Embassy and its five Consulates in the US, which are in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Houston and Atlanta.
On Thursday, all the six diplomatic missions have opened a 24X7 call center to address the concerns of the Indian students, Indian Americans, non-resident Indians, and all those who have had any plans to travel to India.
Senior officials from the Indian missions have also proactively outreached to the Indian students and their organisations to mitigate their concerns and help them address the problems they have been facing due to this global public health crisis.
A 24 Hours helplines are functioning at the Embassy and all consulates, Sandhu said.
India's Health Ministry on Friday put the number of positive coronavirus cases at 82.
A 68-year-old woman in Delhi became the country's second victim of coronavirus on Friday. - PTI