THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Announcing a protocol for repatriation of emigrants, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Sunday said his government will make extensive arrangements for screening of Keralites retuning from abroad at four airports in the state. The returnees will require to undergo a 14-day home quarantine even if testing at airports reveal no Covid-19 symptoms. If the situation at home is unsuitable, they will have to be quarantined at a government-controlled facility.
The CM announced the protocol during a video-conference with the representatives of Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs). Having launched help desks for NRKs, the state government is making arrangements after the Centre indicated that repatriation of NRIs will not be delayed. It will be done in a phased manner with limited flight services. The state government has asked the Centre to bring back stranded Indians before the restart of regular flight services. “In the first phase, it is assumed that only a section of people can be brought back to the state,” Pinarayi said.
“The state government wishes to bring all those affected back to the state. The Norka Roots has launched a website www.norkaroots.org for the registration of those wishing to come back. The website has provisions to prioritise returnees in the first phase.” A system is being devised to take expatriates from airports to their homes. Screening facilities will be arranged at airports. “Only a driver will be allowed to take Pravasi home and no visit to the houses of relatives or friends shall me made during the journey. The luggage of those placed under hospital isolation will be protected by the government until the completion of the quarantine period,” he said.
According to the current system, those placed in labour camps with neither job nor any earning, people with expired visiting visa, the elderly, pregnant women, children, people suffering from various ailments, students having completed courses, and those having completed jail terms will be given precedence, pending ratification by the Centre. Tickets should be booked to the airport nearest to their homes.
The state is also in consultation with the Centre to bring expatriates by ships, the CM said. “If needed, the state government will make arrangements here for the schooling of the children of pravasis,” the CM said.