New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) As the number of deaths from novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe crosses 7,000 and many Indians are stranded in various foreign countries, several opposition leaders raised the issue in the Lok Sabha on Thursday seeking government’s action over the issue to evacuate them.

Some of the MPs sought for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address to the House over the COVID-19 pandemic and some demanded that a social media initiative should be started by the government to dispel rumours being spread.

Congress leader of House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury raised the issue soon after the Question Hour in the Lower House ended, requesting the government to “take serious step” in this direction.

“People coming from America are allowed to take flight from there but they are being denied boarding in Indian flights who tell them that these have been cancelled. So, where those people will go? What will they do? Where will they live? How will they come? We will have to see over the issue,” Chowdhury said.

“Lakhs of people are stranded in foreign countries due to the spread of coronavirus. Several Indians are stranded across the world from Iran to Italy and Italy to America. I urge the government to take serious step in this direction.”

Trinamool Congress’s Sudip Bandyopadhyay said corona issue has shaken the whole world. “We are not out of it. Today, Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) will address the nation which we have heard. It is requested that the Prime Minister should address the House.

BJP’s former ally Shiv Sena’s Vinayak Raut raised the issue of 58 students who are stranded at Singapore.

“All the stranded Indians are medical students who study in the Philippines. They came to Malaysia and then were put in Singapore. This is the third day and they have been facing problems continuously. I urge the government that it should not send those students, including 25 female, back to Malaysia from Singapore airport, and arrange for their evacuation.”

The Indian government suspended air travel to and from the Philippines, following which the students got stuck at the Singapore airport, the MP said, adding External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar on Wednesday assured for immediate rescue but no arrangement to evacuate them had been made till Wednesday night.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Dayanidhi Maran said that the issue of coronavirus is serious and the government is taking stern steps which is being appreciated across the world but why these partiality towards the Parliament of India. “Are these are not the citizens of India?”

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, meanwhile, interrupted and stopped Maran to speak on that issue.

Independent MP from Mandya in Karnataka, Sumatha Ambareesh, a film actress, demanded that the government should start a social media initiative to dispel rumours being spread related to coronavirus which have infected over 150 people across Indian with three deaths so far.

Originated in China’s Wuhan city in December last year, the deadly virus has killed over 7,000 people and infected more than 1.50 lakh globally.

The Centre has so far evacuated several stranded Indians from China, Italy and other countries.




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