New Delhi: A total of 4,355 Indian expatriates died due to COVID-19 in 88 countries, with the highest death toll of 1,237 being reported in Saudi Arabia, followed by 894 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The details were provided by Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
According to him, 668 Indian expatriates died of COVID-19 in Kuwait, 555 in Oman and 203 in Bahrain. The number was five in the United States, while it was 15 in Russia.
Muraleedharan said 113 Indian expatriates died of COVID-19 in Qatar, while the number was 186 in Malaysia.
“As per the details available with Indian Missions/Posts, the total number of Indian expatriates who died due to COVID-19 is 4,355. The number of such deceased persons whose bodies were brought back to India for funeral is 127,” he said.
The minister said financial assistance for transporting the mortal remains to India or for local burial was provided from the Indian Community Welfare Fund where such requests were received.
He added that there is no restriction on bringing back the mortal remains of Covid-infected Indians provided the necessary precautions mandated by the health and civil aviation ministries are taken.
To a separate question, Muraleedharan said 7,925 Indian prisoners, including undertrials, are lodged in various jails around the world.
The UAE has the highest number of 1,663 Indian prisoners, followed by Saudi Arabia with 1,363 and Nepal with 1,039.
“As per the information available with the ministry, the number of Indian prisoners in foreign jails as of January 15 is 7,925, which also includes under-trials,” Muraleedharan said.
“From 2006 till January 2022, 86 prisoners, including 75 Indian prisoners, have been transferred under the Repatriation of Prisoners Act, 2003 to serve the remainder of their sentences,” he added.