Around 50 nurses from Kerala were evacuated on Sunday night, September 20, 2015, from the troubled region of Samtah in Saudi Arabia, very close to the Yemen border, to Jizan that is about an hour's drive from Samtah. They are now awaiting a nod from authorities in Saudi Arabia and the Indian embassy to return to India, as they also want issues related to their work experience and certificates to be taken care of.
T. Thanu, a nurse from Kerala who has been working abroad for the past four years, said, "We all were waiting for the permission to return. We have been living in fear for the last three days at the 150-bed Samtah general hospital attached to Saudi Arabia's health ministry due to mortar firing and shelling around us. About 50 nurses have decided to return to India. Sunday was our last day at work. We want the Indian embassy to ensure that we get our experience certificates while a few new nursing recruits get their certificates back from the agency that recruited them."
All the nurses were ready to continue working in Saudi Arabia, provided they were posted in trouble-free area, away from the Saudi-Yemen border. Thanu said, "If it is not possible, we want to return to India at the earliest."
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy has assured these nurses that he has taken up the issue with India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. An official from the Prime Minister's Office also called them up and assured of safe return.