Udayavni Special

Kerala draws up plans to bring back Malayalees stranded in other states

Team Udayavani, Apr 28, 2020, 10:40 AM IST

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government is working on a plan to bring back people from the state stranded in different parts of the country because of the coronavirus lockdown in a phased manner, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Monday.

It has asked the district collectors to prepare a “plan” and such people who desire to come back to the state can register their details on the NORKA (Non Residents Keralites Affaris) department website from Wednesday,he told reporters here.

“The government has asked the district collectors to prepare a plan for their return. Those who wish to return will have to undergo a health checkup at the borders and must go into quarantine. We will make arrangements in tune with the facilities readied for the expats,” Vijayan added.

The NORKA has already began the registration for expatriates and others stranded overseas, especially in the Gulf region, with the condition that they should obtain a COVID-19 negative certificate from their places of stay.

Vijayan said several keralites were stranded in other states and they facing severe hardships.

“Students, business travellers, those who went to visit relatives, those on temporary training, are some of those who are stuck and we will try to bring them back”, he said.

However, priority would be given to those who have gone for medical treatment in other states and residents of other states who have registered for specialist treatment in Kerala.

Students, people who have lost jobs and those wanting to come to Kerala post their retirement would get preference, he said.

There were also several people from Kerala who have gone to neighbouring states for farm work, especially in Kodagu, Karnataka.All those who are stranded in other states will be brought back in a phased manner.

They would be checked by the Health Department at the border and quarantine would be mandatory for everyone. All safety precautions taken for expatriates would apply in their case also.

“Entry would be regulated and we expect the people to cooperate with us,”the chief minister said.

The government will also ensure that children of those who return from abroad will be given admission in the educational institutions in the state, if required.

It has asked the expats to book the tickets to their nearest airport in the state.

“All the four international airports in the state have been arranged with necessary facilities for the expats. The NORKA help desk is also active. Those who wish to return from abroad have already started registering in the Norka website from yesterday,” Vijayan said.

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