THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as the Centre informed the High Court regarding its inconvenience to bring Indians stranded abroad, the state reiterated its demand that they should be brought back without delay. A high-level meet chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday decided to set up elaborate arrangements for expatriates returning to the country, once air services restart. The expats should be brought back in three phases, the Chief Minister said.
A decision has been taken to ensure adequate facilities adjacent to the four international airports in the state. Facilities would also be set up to test and quarantine the expatriates. Accommodation and hospital facilities have also been arranged. A coordinated effort by the transport, health, local self-government authorities and PWD would be carried out to quarantine them. Those who test negative will be sent to home quarantine.
The Chief Minister said that those stranded abroad should be brought back to the country. There will be elaborate testing and quarantine facilities for them. A supervisory system would be set up to monitor these facilities. The facilities currently established, including the buildings and rooms for accommodation, are satisfactory. Efforts are on to find more buildings for the purpose.
Those coming to the state should register either through the Embassy or at Norka. Aged, those on visiting visas, pregnant women, children and those suffering from other serious illnesses should be given priority. The state will request the Union Aviation and External Affairs Ministries to bring them back in the first phase. Those who have lost their jobs, with expired visa, released from jails and students returning after completing courses can be considered in the second phase.
The remaining can be brought to the state in the third phase. Officials have been asked to take up the matter with the Union External and Aviation Ministries in addition to the airlines. The state will also request that expatriates should be provided tickets at affordable rates.If expatriates are brought according to priority categories, tickets would be available for normal rates. In this way, all of them can be brought back within a month. Instructions have been issued to ensure facilities for expats coming through airports outside the state also.