Coronavirus: Hundreds of Keralites, travelling via Bahrain to Saudi, forced to return

Coronavirus: Hundreds of Keralites, travelling via Bahrain to Saudi, forced to return

Kochi: With Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia imposing travel restrictions in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak, travel plans of expatriates from India have been affected.

Saudi has imposed a ban on flight services from nine countries, including Bahrain, UAE and Kuwait.

Hundreds of Keralites, who arrived at Manama in Bahrain on Monday, did not get the connection flight to Saudi Arabia. They had boarded flights from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, and Kozhikode.

The stranded Keralites were sent back in flights to Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram.

A total of 116 passengers, who were to fly to Saudi Arabia via UAE in two flights of the Etihad Airways, could not commence their journey from Kozhikode. However, there is no restriction on passengers who are directly flying to Saudi Arabia for work requirements.

After Qatar imposed travel ban, 333 passengers from Kannur too had to cancel their journey. However, Air India Express passengers can reschedule and book tickets for another day.

But those who began their journey from Kerala before the Qatar's travel ban came into effect were allowed entry into the country on Monday after medical examination.

Flight services from Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kannur to Doha have been suspended.

Sources hinted that the flight services to other Gulf countries would also be temporarily suspended.

Over 110,041 people from more than 90 countries have been infected with COVID-19 so far and 3,825 people killed.

In India, 47 people have tested positive for the deadly virus and around 12,000 people are under observation.