COVID-19 Lockdown: 56 pregnant nurses stranded abroad approach Delhi HC seeking facilitation of their return
A group of 56 pregnant nurses stranded abroad approached Delhi High Court on Saturday seeking directions to the ministries and authorities concerned for facilitation of their return claiming they are in serious distress and need medical and psycho-socio support.
The petition was moved by an organization called United Nurses Association on behalf of the pregnant nurses stranded abroad through advocate Subhash Chandran KR.
The plea, which is slated to come for hearing on May 18, said that these 56 stranded pregnant nurses are healthcare workers and as such are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of COVID-19 infection.
It said that 55 members of the petitioner organization, stranded in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and another member in Kuwait, need immediate medical and psycho-socio support as all of them are healthcare workers and therefore are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection.
The listed 56 pregnant nurses are having serious medical issues as most of them are in the third trimester of pregnancy, the plea said.
It said that these pregnant women did not get priority for repatriation in the first phase of 'Vande Bharat Mission' as announced by the Union of India.
The plea also said that as per the airline policy, a pregnant woman cannot travel after 36 weeks of pregnancy and all of these nurses are staying alone in Saudi Arabia as the country did not provide family status visa to the staff nurses.
It sought directions to authorities concerned to schedule special chartered flight from Saudi Arabia for bringing back pregnant women including the listed 56 healthcare workers who are stranded outside the country with highest priority.
It is humbly submitted that on May 12, 2020, the Embassy of India, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia announced second phase of 'Vande Bharat Mission' whereby six flights will be operating in between May 19 and May 23, the plea said.
Therefore, the petitioner prayed for the strict implementation of the Standard Operating Protocol for movement of Indian nationals stranded outside the country issued by MHA and also to bring back listed 56 pregnant healthcare workers with highest priority.