Sunday, June 14, 2020

Disagreement over SOPs leaves 64 Goans stranded in Cayman Islands

Panjim: A disagreement between the Indian government and British Airways over the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has left around 300 Indians, including 64 Goans, stranded in the Cayman Islands. They have also been rendered jobless and been left to fend for themselves as there are no return flights back to India.

Speaking to Herald from Cayman Island, Sachin Veluskar, originally from Panjim, said the Goans are in a bad condition as they have exhausted all their savings.

He added that the Cayman authorities have been very helpful but were unable to help repatriation due to strict SOPs of the Indian government.

An email from the Prathit Misra, Second Secretary, High Commission of India in Kingston Jamaica, says the Cayman government had approached them for arranging a British Airways flight from Cayman Islands to India.

“We were on board but the Cayman government was very categorical that the cabin crew of British Airways would not wear PPE kits, a safety protocol of the Indian government that is compulsory for all private flights to follow. We tried to convince them that all repatriation flights from different countries are following this protocol and it cannot be exempted in view of passenger safety and order of Indian court to follow all safety protocols,” the Secretary says.

Further, the email adds, the Cayman government has confirmed that they will not be able to arrange British Airways flights as they will not follow this safety protocol.
14/06/20 Suraj Nandrekar/Herlad
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