Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi after trains carrying migrants arrived in the state without any prior information.
“This will derail the state’s efforts to contain COVID-19”, the chief minister has warned.
Pinarayi Vijayan said Kerala had no information about a train that reached the state from Mumbai, adding another train has also been scheduled in a similar manner despite the issue being raised with the Union Railway Minister.
“Trains are coming to Kerala from all parts of the country and we don’t have any problem with that. Everyone who wants to return, is welcome. Our only condition is that there should be prior intimation from the railways and they should give us the list of passengers who have booked the tickets to return”, Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday at his daily evening press briefing.
“Those who arrive here are screened at the railway station and sent to home quarantine. But we need to have the list in advance so that we can ensure proper arrangements for their screening & home quarantine. Any failure to do so will undermine the measures taken by the government to ensure proper monitoring to prevent the spread of the disease,” Mr Vijayan said.
About 3.8 lakh people have registered to return to Kerala from other states so far. 72 people who returned from Maharashtra have tested positive for coronavirus in Kerala along with 71 from Tamil Nadu and 35 from Karnataka.
“Much care and caution must be taken to avoid community transmission of the disease. That is why we are insisting that everyone returning to Kerala must be registered on the state government’s COVID-19 Jagratha portal, the chief minister said.
On Tuesday, Kerala recorded 67 new COVID19 cases – of which 27 are repatriated Indians, 33 have returned from other states and seven are among the primary contacts who got infected. The state has 896 coronavirus cases and has reported 5 deaths so far.