THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Britain has lauded the efforts of Kerala in repatriating its nationals stranded in south India and also praised the official machinery in the state for providing excellent treatment to COVID-hit British citizens.
In a letter to chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, Deputy High Commissioner, British Deputy High Commission Karnataka & Kerala, said, “I spoke to Brian Lockwood and his wife who had been hospitalised at the Government Hospital in Ernakulam. They were both full of praise for the excellent treatment that they had received from the medical staff there and were very grateful for all of their hard work.”
He also thanked Raj Kumar, Regional Joint Director, Department of Tourism, ACK Nair, Director, and Dinesh Kumar, Assistant Director, Kochi International Airport, and C V Ravindran, Airport Director, Trivandrum International Airport, for extending support to repatriate the British nationals.
The CM and his colleagues and the police service were also thanked by the UK authorities for the assistance and support Kerala gave last week for the repatriation flight that the British government arranged for its nationals stranded in Kerala due to the COVID-19 crisis.
“The relief flight was a complicated one and involved the plane first landing to pick up passengers in Trivandrum before flying to Kochi to pick up a larger group there. We also moved large numbers of passengers to the airports from various locations across Kerala as well as in Tamil Nadu close to Kochi and Trivandrum. I look forward to meeting you (CM) again when this crisis is over and to continue building a strong relationship between the United Kingdom and Kerala,” said Pilmore-Bedford.
Only a batch of Russian and Swiss nationals remain in the state apart from those who opted to stay here until the crisis is over. The Swiss nationals numbering around 172 will board a flight by Saturday, while the Russians were given Ministry of External Affairs clearance and the state's permission to move to Bengaluru from where an aircraft is expected to be arranged by Russian authorities, said tourism officials.
Around 1500 foreign nationals stranded here after the lockdown have been successfully repatriated so far with the help of consulates of various countries.