Monday, April 27, 2020

‘Screening at all airports to test Indian evacuees returning home’: Kerala CM

With the Centre giving a nod for the evacuation of Indian nationals abroad, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that screening facilities will be set up at all four of the state’s international airports to check those flying into the state.

Everyone flying in, including asymptomatic people, will be asked to observe a mandatory 14-day quarantine. The state government will also set up additional quarantine centres for those who do not have facilities to quarantine themselves at home, according to the CM’s press release. This information was relayed to a representative of the Malayali NRI community via video conferencing.

According to a report in NDTV, which cites government sources, the Centre has started planning for the evacuation of Indian nationals stranded in other countries. The Ministry of External Affairs in coordination with the Civil Aviation Ministry, Air India, state governments and Indian missions abroad will carry out the evacuation.

Pinarayi added that it is impossible to bring back all Indian nationals at once and that whoever has to return to the country urgently has to be given priority. The evacuation will be carried out in phases. Those currently in foreign countries who wish to return home can register themselves at the Kerala government’s NORKA roots website

Kerala has also stated that priority should be given to those with expired visas, the elderly, pregnant women, children and critically ill patients while screening applications.
The state government has also banned family and friends from welcoming those returning home at the airports.

If a personal vehicle for transport has been arranged, then it must only have the driver. Further, the evacuee must go home directly and not make house visits of friends and family or go anywhere else.

Those evacuees exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms will be subjected to further tests after which they will be admitted to quarantine centres. Their luggage will also be taken care of by the respective department.

The state government has also appealed to the Centre to allow Indian nationals to return home via ships. It has appealed to the Centre to utilise the Indian Community Welfare Fund for rehabilitating those NRIs who have lost their jobs.
27/04/20 News Minute
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