None of the deceased persons who tested positive were flown back to India, but were cremated in the same place.

299 NRI Keralites succumbed to COVID-19 abroadimage for representation only
Coronavirus Coronavirus Monday, June 22, 2020 - 18:41

Three more NRI Keralites passed away in the Gulf on Sunday, after testing positive for the coronavirus. While two of the patients passed away in Saudi’s Riyadh and Dammam, another patient, a Kannur native, passed away in Bahrain on Sunday. 

According to reports, 43-year-old Sunil Kumar Purushothaman, a native of Thenmala in Kollam, passed away in Dammam Central Hospital where he was admitted 10 days ago, after he tested positive for coronavirus. 

A 34-year-old native of Koduvally in Kozhikode, Mohammad Shaijal, passed away in Riyadh’s Sulaiman Al Habib Hospital on Sunday. With this, the number of Keralites who passed away in Saudi Arabia after testing positive for COVID-19 is 77. 

In Bahrain, a 50-year-old man, identified as MP Raj, who is a native of Ezhome in Kannur, passed away after testing positive for the virus. For the last two weeks, he had been receiving treatment for pneumonia at the Salmaniya Hospital in Bahrain’s capital city, Manama.

While in Kerala, the number of COVID-19 deaths stand at 22, outside of India, a record 299 NRI Keralites have succumbed to the disease. 

According to data shared by NORKA Roots — the Department of Non Resident Keralites Affairs — the highest number COVID-19 deaths of NRI Keralites were reported from Gulf countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates.

“Around 118 COVID-19 deaths among Keralites in the UAE have been recorded,” NORKA Roots CEO Harikrishnan confirmed to TNM. This is followed by Saudi Arabia (77),  Kuwait (32), Qatar( 7), Oman (9) and Bahrain (5). The UAE also has a significant presence of Keralites with over 15 lakh NRKs living and working in the Emirates, while Saudi Arabia has about 5 lakh Keralites. 

Apart from Gulf countries, the United States has witnessed 33 COVID-19 deaths among NRI Keralites, seven among them women. The United Kingdom saw 12 Keralites dying after testing positive for the virus, while European countries saw six COVID-19 deaths in the community. 

None of the deceased persons who tested positive were flown back to India, confirmed NORKA.  

“This is not possible as it is against the guidelines of the World Health Organisation. There have been a few people who returned to India and tested positive here and then passed away. However, no person who tested positive abroad and passed away outside India, has been flown in,” Varadarajan added.

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