Locked-out by Saudi, Indians miffed with GOI over COVID vaccine export to Kingdom

Riyadh: Thousands of Indians locked-out of Saudi Arabia are miffed over the export of COVID vaccine from India to the Islamic nation. The flight ban in view of the ongoing pandemic imposed last week had trigged the anger of the Indians even more.

Last week Saudi Arabia suspended entry from 20 countries including India, United Arab Emirates (UAE), United States (US) and the United Kingdom (IUK).

Indians, who are the biggest expatriate community in the kingdom, after the announcement said that their lives have turned over. “These bans from almost a year are dividing our families and costing jobs and business contracts,” said an Indian living in Dhammam, as quoted in an Al Jazeera report.

Saudi has not just put a ban on flights but has also halted entertainment events and schools. The Al Jazeera report, quoting a source, said that not linking vaccines to the flight ban shows that the two countries are “strategic partners” and that the Saudis need to “reduce the suffering of the Indian workforce.”

Frustrated Indians who work in Saudi and are presently stuck back home have taken to social media to vent their frustration. Abid Jamaluddin, one such person, responded to the Indian Embassy in Riyadh on Twitter and wrote, “Sir, kindly talk to Saudi authorities and start direct flights from India because we are in a tough situation.”

Another Twitter user similarly said, “We are in the worst situation as we have no work, no financial aid, no food and no shelter.”