Kerala begins registration for expatriates to return to state due to Covid-19

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Following indications from the central government that it would bring Indians stranded in various parts of the world, the Kerala government has started the process to list Keralites who wish to return to the state in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Non-Resident Keralites Affairs Department of the government has on Sunday has kicked off the registration of those who want to return. The registration can be made on the website of Norka-Roots, the field agency of the department, www.norkaroots.org.

This is being done to see that the state government is ready with all the necessary arrangements. Expatriates settled in various countries, especially the Gulf, should carry mandatorily a COVID-19 negative certificate if they want to return home once the Centre gives the nod for bringing them back.

According to official sources, preference will be given to those with expired visas, the elderly, pregnant women, children, critically ill patients, students who have completed their courses, and others are among the large number of people who are waiting to come back.

The government has prepared a protocol for the orderly return of expatriates once transport curbs are lifted, to prevent new covid-19 infections swamping its healthcare system. Those who are found to be in good health will have to be in isolation in their homes for 14 days.

Those with any symptoms will be sent to corona care centres and would have to be there. There is a provision for those who wish to be in isolation at hotels or resorts and they will have to pay for it, according to an order issued by the government early this week.

The state has formed a seven-member core panel of top officials to plan for the reverse migration. According to official estimates, there are least 33 lakh NRKs who are residing in various countries, including 22 lakh in the Gulf region.  

The government expects 500,000 expats to land up within 30 days after flights resume and has charted a plan that will abide by central government norms.

The state government has got nearly 300,000 hospital beds ready to accommodate those among them who will need hospitalization. Testing centres will also be beefed up to accommodate a potential increase in samples, he added.

There has been a huge demand from the Non Resident Keralites, settled in various parts of the globe, especially the Gulf to return to the state due to the COVID-19 situation.

Image Credit: Mathrubhumi

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