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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Sayeed assured Indian nationals in the Kingdom that the embassy would be at disposal of the community to help.
In a message to the Indian community, a copy of which was provided to Arab News, the ambassador said: “My dear fellow citizens, as you are aware, we are all passing through a difficult stage, not just in Saudi Arabia, but across the globe, due to the outbreak of COVID-19.”
Sayeed added: “We deeply appreciate various proactive measures taken by the Kingdom to prevent the spread of this pandemic. On behalf of the government of India, I take this opportunity to thank King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for ensuring the welfare of the residents in the Kingdom in this trying time.”
The Embassy of India in Riyadh has set up a 24/7 emergency helpline (+966546103992) to address the concerns of the Indian community.
In addition, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has set up a control room to a similar end, which may be reached either by phone, toll-free at 1800118797, or by email at [email protected].
Indian premier Narendra Modi has urged nationals to adopt “restraint” and “resolve” in the fight against the deadly virus.
“The need of the hour is to maintain ‘social distancing’ and ‘patience.’ All community members are advised to avoid unnecessary travel within the Kingdom and are requested to exercise cleanliness and personal hygiene to break the cycle of community transmission,” Sayeed said.
He assured that Indian school students of the Kingdom, whose exams have been deferred, need not worry, as they would be conducted on a later date once the situation improves.
“Fear and rumors pose a greater threat to us than COVID-19,” Sayeed said. “I wish to reiterate that Indian nationals must exercise restraint in sharing unconfirmed information and videos.”
Sayeed urged the Indian community to show a “high sense of public responsibility and self-discipline and extend full support to the government of Saudi Arabia in dealing with the situation.”
He encouraged Indian nationals to bring any information on confirmed positive cases to the attention of the embassy “at the earliest.”
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