VIJAYAWADA: The State government has made elaborate arrangements to receive anywhere between 17,000 to 20,000 expatriates, although around 30,000 have registered to return home. Around 65 per cent of them are from Gulf countries.
Briefing the media on the preparations made for the return of Telugus stranded in foreign countries due to the pandemic, Andhra Pradesh Covid-19 task force committee chairman MT Krishna Babu said the first such flight would come from the US and land in Hyderabad on Monday.
He added that those from the State would be brought directly to Vijayawada where they would be quarantined.
“In case the number of passengers from a particular district is more than 50, they will be shifted to their respective district for quarantine,” he said and informed that 14-day quarantine at the centres and 14 more days at home are mandatory for them. Krishna Babu noted that the State has requested the Ministry of External Affairs to allocate the three international airports in the State — Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Tirupati — to receive flights bringing expatriates.
Visakhapatnam airport will be tagged to north coastal districts and East Godavari; Vijayawada airport to West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts; and Tirupati airport to Nellore and the four Rayalaseema districts. The flights from the Gulf and Southeast Asian countries can directly land at the three international airports, but the long haul flights from North and South American countries cannot, as they are wide-body aircraft.
At every airport (including those tagged to the State), there will be a reception team, which will test the passengers. The symptomatic patients will be sent to the nearest Covid hospital and asymptomatic ones will be escorted to the district reception centres by bus.
“We are offering them two quarantine options — government camps (which are free) and quarantine at hotels (paid) — where they have to stay for 14 days. If one opts for paid quarantine, there are three types of hotels to choose from — luxury (Rs 3,000 and more), moderate (Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000) and budget (Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,000). Andhra Pradesh is the only State, other than Kerala, which is offering free quarantine,” he said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has appointed IAS officer Harsha Kumar to coordinate with AP, while Babu Rao Naidu from the State will be coordinating with the district administrations. 11,860 migrants return home On inter-state transportation of migrant workers, Krishna Babu said 11,860 people were sent to their home States in 11 trains and two trains from other states had come to AP till date.
The third train from Tamil Nadu is expected to arrive on Sunday. Further, 14 more trains are being planned (13 outgoing and one incoming) and consents from the States concerned are awaited.
Allaying fears of the migrants from Jharkhand, he said that a train would be sent to the State in a gap of 4 to 7 days and the next train would leave on May 12.
“Regarding inter-state movement, the DGP is the only authority to issue passes. Stranded pilgrims and students would be allowed to travel only in emergency cases. They will have to submit requisite documents online.”
Andhra Pradesh e-pass must to enter State
Covid-19 task force committee chairman Krishna Babu said those without an e-pass issued by the AP government can’t enter Andhra Pradesh. They will be stopped at the 11 interstate border check posts. “Regarding inter-state movement, the DGP is the only authority to issue passes,” he maintained.
30,000 expatriates have registered to return home, 65% of them are from Gulf countries.
First flight will come from the US and land in Hyderabad on Monday
Govt offers two quarantine options—government camps (free) and quarantine at hotels (paid)
Paid quarantine: Luxury (Rs 3,000 and more), moderate (Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000), and budget (Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,000)