Kerala ready to receive NRIs when Centre allows: CM

Kerala ready to receive NRIs as and when Centre allows: CM Pinarayi Vijayan

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said the state was ready to receive the non-resident Indians as and when the Central government allows operation of aircraft to bring them back.

He also informed that till now, 2.76 lakh non-resident Keralites from over 150 countries have registered on the Norka website indicating their desire to come back to Kerala.

"As per the initial numbers, Malappuram, Kozhikode, Kannur and Thrissur districts have the maximum number of returnees. A committee under the District Collector with representatives from Airports Authority of India, Kerala Police and Health Department would oversee the elaborate arrangements at airports to receive the NRKs," Vijayan told media persons after the daily evaluation meet on COVID-19.

He said there will be doctors and paramedical staff at the airport for detailed checking of the arriving passengers and a rooster of the passengers would be obtained from the Civil Aviation Ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs well in advance.

The Chief Minister also said that after the initial screening, those without symptoms would be sent to their homes for quarantine and there would be regular monitoring by the police and healthcare workers to ensure that they follow the quarantine rules.

"Telemedicine facilities and mobile medical units would be set up under panchayats to ensure proper medical care for those under isolation. Those who cannot undergo quarantine at home can opt for the government quarantine centres," Vijayan said.

He also said that those with symptoms would be moved straight to the quarantine centres and their luggage would be sent home.

He said adequate quarantine and medical facilities near airports have been identified and made ready.

"If the Centre decides to bring the expats by ships, we will make similar arrangements at the ports also. There is no shortage of Viral Transport Medium and we have enough stock of PCR and RNA extraction kits. The Kerala Medical Services Corporation has been directed to procure more kits," Vijayan said.

The chief minister also informed that the registration for Keralites in other states on the Norka website would begin on April 29.

"People from Kerala who are currently stuck or stranded in different parts of the country because of the lockdown and desire to come back to Kerala can register their details on the Norka website," he said.

The registration will begin on April 29 evening and priority would be given to those who have gone for medical treatment in other states and residents of other states who have registered for specialist treatment in Kerala.

Students, those who have lost jobs, those who went for exams or interviews can also register.

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