Friday, June 26, 2020

MEA Nullifies Kerala's Guidelines For UAE Returnees: 'Can't Implement State Protocols'

With the Kerala government tightening its rules for UAE returnees, the Ministry of External affairs has clarified state-specific protocols cannot be implemented amid lockdown. The MEA has clarified that it will only the protocols issued by the Union Home and Health ministries. Currently, MEA has announced the commencement of the fourth phase of Vande Bharat from July 3.
On Wednesday, Kerala issued a set of new guidelines for expatriates from the Gulf countries returning to the state by Vande Bharat Mission flights and chartered aircraft. The state, which was hailed for curbing its Coronavirus cases, has seen a sudden rise in cases amid ‘Unlock 1’. The new guidelines will be applicable from Thursday.
"As per the new guidelines, all those who come from countries where testing facilities are available should take the test and carry the test certificate with them. The test must be taken within 72 hours of the flight (validity of the test report will be for 72 hours). They must also  register on the Kerala Covid Jagratha website and give all details and must undergo screening at the airport. Those with symptoms will be shifted to the hospital for further tests."
On May 7, the Centre launched the Vande Bharat mission to bring back Indians stranded abroad amid Coronavirus global lockdown via aircraft and naval ships in a phased manner. This facility is available on payment-basis - almost 4 lakh people from 98 countries have registered to come back till date. Till date, around over 1 lakh Indians have returned to India from abroad via Vande Bharat while 1.5 lakhs have returned via domestic & foreign charters, naval ships & through land borders, Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. While earlier only Air India was operating flights previously, now private airlines GoAir, Indigo and Vistara too have commenced operations, presumably ending the government air carrier's monopoly.
25/06/20 Suchitra Karthikeyan/Republic World
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