Coronavirus lockdown: Around 11K Kannadigas stranded abroad set to return

Last Updated : 01 May 2020, 16:45 IST

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In a relief to Karnataka-origin tourists, visitors, students, migrants and ship crew, as many as 10,823 of them stranded abroad will be brought back soon, Minister S Suresh Kumar, in charge of Covid-19 briefings, said on Wednesday. The UAE, Saudi Arabia and the US account for maximum number of such people.

Most international passengers who tested positive in the state had travel history to the Gulf. That is why the state is taking no chances and even category C passengers, asymptomatic passengers below 60 years of age who were previously home-quarantined before the lockdown began, will be quarantined at hotels and sent home only after they test negative on the fifth day and the 12th day.

Among those stranded include 4,408 tourists and visitors, 3,084 students, 2,784 migrants, and 557 ship crew. Around 6,100 of them will be brought back early, although the Union government has not disclosed the date, said Kumar.

Passengers are arriving from Canada (308), US (927), UAE (2,575), Qatar (414) and Saudi Arabia (927).

"All their arrangements are being worked out. The passengers will be divided into risk categories -- A, B, and C," he said.

Category A includes symptomatic passengers who will be admitted to an isolation hospital. Risk category B includes asymptomatic passengers who are above 60 years of age and have comorbid conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Category C includes asymptomatic passengers who are below 60 years of age.

Health Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey told DH, "Category B (who will be monitored 24/7 by a doctor and a nurse) will be sent to hotels or hostels. They can select from a choice of hotels. At our facilities, they can stay free of cost. But many of them ask for more amenities. Category C will also be housed in hotels but without 24/7 health personnel. Our mobile team will check on them once a day."

Government facilities for category B can include BSF camps too. "For those wishing to stay in three-star hotels, a committee will finalise bulk rates with these hotels. All categories will stay in the facilities for 14 days and will be sent home only if they test negative on the fifth and 12th days. They will be housed in either in Bengaluru or Mangaluru," he said.

Suresh Kumar said there are plans to bring back migrant labourers stranded in Gujarat as well but the numbers are yet to be ascertained.

Published 29 April 2020, 19:08 IST

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