Updated: April 16, 2020 8:19:47 pm
Around 35,000 foreign nationals from 48 countries have been evacuated from India amid the coronavirus outbreak, the official sources said.
Earlier this week, on Monday, the Supreme Court had declined to pass interim directions on petitions urging it to ask the Centre to bring back Indians “stranded” abroad.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde, which heard a batch of petitions in this regard, asked Indians in other countries to “stay where they are”, adding that a direction to bring them back could weaken the travel ban imposed by the Centre to prevent COVID-19 transmission.
‘India getting 6.5 lakh testing kits from China’
Meanwhile, government sources also said India was set to receive 6.5 lakh testing kits from China on Thursday, and more were expected from South Korea. US, UK, Malaysia, France and Canada have also been approached for testing kits.
Recently, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), under the scanner over delay in procurement of testing kits for COVID-19, had issued a tender asking Central PSUs to act as Procurement Agency for essential supplies related to coronavirus testing. The ICMR invited techno-commercial offers from Central PSUs, asking interested parties to submit offers by April 16.
‘BRICS foreign ministers meeting later this month’
Sources in the government Thursday said a BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) foreign ministers meeting was being planned later this month on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last month, South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) leaders had held a summit via video-conference to discuss the way forward on fighting the coronavirus crisis. India had proposed creation of a COVID-19 emergency fund, for which it committed “an initial offer of US$ 10 million”.
On April 8, Pakistan had boycotted a video conference of trade officials from the SAARC countries, saying such meetings could only be effective if spearheaded by the group’s secretariat instead of India.
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