Muscat: More than 90 Indian and Pakistani medical professionals, who are employed in Oman but were overseas when the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted flights, have returned to the Sultanate.
73 Indian doctors and nurses, and about 18 of their counterparts from Pakistan, who work in Oman’s health sector, returned to the country in the last few days.
The Pakistani doctors came to Oman with their families on June 19, amounting to 28 people, while their Indian colleagues arrived on Sunday.
“These doctors were in Pakistan on vacation when the pandemic led to flights being stopped, which meant they could not come back,” said KK Ahsan Wagan, Pakistan's ambassador of to Oman. “There is an urgent need now for doctors to help society against the pandemic, and this meant they were required back in Oman.
“The Ministry of Health made it possible for these doctors to return to the Sultanate,” added the ambassador. “None of them work in the private sector...all of them are ministry employees. There are about 17 or 18 doctors in total, and the rest of them are their family members.”
The Pakistan Embassy in Oman thanked the Omani authorities, such as the Health Ministry and Oman's Ambassador in Islamabad, for their assistance in flying these doctors and their families. They also acknowledged the efforts of Pakistan International Airlines, the country’s national carrier, and the staff at their mission in Muscat, for making their return possible.
The Indian doctors who came to the Sultanate were brought back on one of the repatriation flights sent from Kochi to Oman to bring back Indian citizens in the country who wished to return home.
A statement from the Indian Embassy said, “Incoming Vande Bharat Mission flight from Kochi brought back 73 Indian healthcare professionals working with the Ministry of Health in Oman, who were stranded in India, augmenting Oman’s fight against Covid-19.”
The Indian embassy helped co-ordinate with the Government of India to help bring back these medical workers.
“The medical staff who returned to Oman were mostly doctors and nurses,” said the embassy, while speaking to Times of Oman. “They were based around Kochi, and flew to Oman on the repatriation flight that was coming here as part of the Vande Bharat Mission.”