Four flights with around 800 Indians, stranded in various middle-eastern countries due to the coronavirus pandemic, are expected to land in Kerala on the first day of evacuation – May 7.
Flights from Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Riyadh, and Qatar, with Indians on priority list of the state, will land at the Kochi and Kozhikode international airports.
The returnees will be screened and then quarantined at institutional facilities, K Vardharajan, Vice-Chairman of Non Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA), told NDTV.
“We have made all the required arrangements. We have decided that all evacuated passengers will have to stay in government quarantine facilities upon arrival. They can also opt for paid stays in hotels. Arrangements, made in hostels and other places, will be available for free”, Mr Vardharajan said.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had earlier clarified that arrangements have been made in the state to accommodate around 2 lakh foreign returnees.
Of the 64 flights scheduled, 15 will land in Kerala. Each flight will carry 200 people, and two flights, expected from Kuala Lumpur, will seat 250 passengers in each of them.
“Kerala has 1,64,000 names on the priority list, including 10,000 pregnant women who have registered with the state. In addition, there are around 5,000 elderly people, 44,000 people with visa expiry issues, and 60,000 people without jobs. We will need many more flights to bring all of them back”, K Vardharajan explained.
Kerala has 499 coronavirus cases, and no fresh cases were reported in the last two consecutive days. Only 34 of the total positive cases, still remain hospitalised in the state.