Jeddah: Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr Ausaf Sayeed has advised NRIs to opt for passport number as identification in vaccination certificates since most NRIs back home in India were using Aadhaar number registration that could prove to be a hassle for entry into the Kingdom.
Addressing Indian community leaders through virtual mode, the Indian envoy said that AstraZeneca vaccine (Covishield in India) was one of the approved vaccines in Saudi Arabia. He also urged the NRIs to opt for Covishield since it had been approved by Saudi authorities.
The envoy said Saudi Health Ministry had also been informed that many Indians were given Covaxin, and that Indian government was working for recognition of the vaccine which was under consideration of WHO.
According to the Ambassador, the embassy was working with authorities concerned to address the prime concerns of NRIs about one dose in Saudi Arabia and another in India. The Ambassador revealed that about 600 Saudi-bound NRIs were stranded in Bahrain since expats without vaccine doses were not being allowed to take the King Fahad Causeway that connects the two Gulf nations. They can enter Saudi by air and follow institutional quarantine, he added.
“Indian embassies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are working to resolve the issue of stranded NRIs in Bahrain,” he said, adding that earlier too, the Indian Embassy took up the issue of stranded Saudi-bound NRIs in Nepal.
Dr Ausaf Sayeed asked Indians to cross-check when they are transiting through any third country to comply with the 14-day ‘away from India’ norm as Bahrain and other countries suspended the entry of inbound Indian flights.
Touching a crucial aspect of sending life-saving drugs from Saudi Arabia by individual NRIs to their families and friends, the Ambassador said that Indian Embassy had received several requests from NRIs seeking help to send medicine, especially Amphotercin injections, for treatment of Black Fungus.
Dr Sayeed said that the embassy had guided and helped such requests with the coordination of Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) to expedite clearance as these drugs were available in the Kingdom but need clearance to send out of the country.
The Ambassador said that Saudi Arabia had supplied 240 million tonnes of medical oxygen to India, which was purchased by Adani, Reliance, L&T and Indian Oil Corporation.
The envoy categorically stated that oxygen was procured by various Indian firms from Saudi Arabia. It was a sale and purchase transaction between two parties where the embassy offered help for expedition of transportation.
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