Tuesday, April 07, 2020

400 foreign tourists in Kerala yet to reach home

Kochi: When the Prime Minister announced the 21-day lockdown on March 24, nearly 820 foreign tourists were stranded in Kerala, unable to return to their native countries. Now, into the second week of the lockdown, nearly 400 of them are still held over.Though nations concerned are attempting to evacuate these tourists safely, closure of airports is seemingly deterring the move.

According to P Bala Kiran, director, Kerala Tourism, so far, 300 of the 820 tourists have been evacuated. “We are taking care of all the foreign tourists who are currently in Kerala. Some had arrived as part of tour packages, while a few others were visiting the state for medical reasons. All the foreign tourists here are safe. Our officials are frequently in touch with them,” he said. The tourists were kept under quarantine at various hotels and hospitals across the state.
K Raj Kumar, joint director, Kerala Tourism, Ernakulam said the evacuation procedures are conducted after coordinating with the embassies of the respective countries. “We evacuated over 100 German nationals last week. Similarly, a flight from Oman was arranged to airlift the Omani medical tourists. Also, steps were taken to evacuate French nationals and other tourists from other European countries on Saturday, “ he said.

According to Raj Kumar, the majority of the foreign tourists, who are still in Kerala, are from the United Kingdom. “There are also several tourists from the United States and Malaysia also, besides a few Saudi nationals. We are constantly contacting them, “ he said. 
Owing to the pandemic across the globe and much to the credit of the tourism fraternity here, several tourists, especially from European countries, say they want to continue their stay in Kerala till their tourist visa period ends.

On Saturday alone, 24 tourists who were supposed to board the Air India flight along with the remaining 112 people to Paris opted to stay back. “Some tourists claim they feel safer here than in Europe now. A few of them have also arrived in the state with long-term visas and wish to stay here till their visa period ends,” an official said.
Eight foreign tourists underwent medical treatment in Kerala after they were tested Covid-19 positive. The successful treatment of 57-year-old British national Brian Neil who was admitted in a critical condition after testing Covid-19 positive during his tour here, brought laurels to the Kerala government.
07/04/20 Toby Antony/New Indian Express

To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment