Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday said that the Centre is learnt to have approved bringing back 80,000 expatriates, but there are 1.69 lakh people on the state's priority list. This statement comes after Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that 64 flights will be operated from May 7 to May 13 to bring back stranded Indians from abroad.
The Chief Minister said that Centre has informed that they are bringing back Indians from other countries without conducting COVID-19 test. He added that it would increase the threat of COVID-19 spread.
"The Centre is learnt to have approved bringing back 80,000 expatriates, but there are 1.69 lakh people in Kerala's priority list. This has been taken up with the Centre," the Chief Minister said."This will increase the threat of COVID-19 spread. All health protocol as per international standards have to be followed before bringing people from abroad. COVID-19 testing has to be conducted and I have taken this with Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.
The Kerala minister further said that who are returning from red zones from other states have to mandatorily undergo one week quarantine at government centres.
"As no testing is being carried out prior to travel to Kerala from abroad, the expatriates returning will have to undergo quarantine in government centres," he said.
In a massive development, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that 64 flights will be operated from May 7 to May 13 to bring back stranded Indians from abroad. The flight plan for repatriation of Indians stranded in foreign countries due to COVID-19 pandemic has been accessed by Republic TV on Tuesday. As per sources, the mega rescue operation has been scheduled for a whole week starting from May 7.
The minister listed down the flights along with the countries and mentioned the fixed rates for the journey.
"64 flights will be operated in the 1st week of operation to bring stranded Indians from different countries from May 7 to May 13. The 64 flights include-UAE- 10 flights, Qatar- 2, Saudi Arabia- 5, UK- 7, Singapore- 5, United States-7, Philippines- 5, Bangladesh- 7, Bahrain - 2, Malaysia-7, Kuwait-5, and Oman-2," said Hardeep Singh Puri.
"The rates fixed for the journey will be Rs 50,000 for London-Mumbai, similarly for London to Ahmedabad, London to Bengaluru and London to Delhi. For Chicago-Delhi-Hyderabad the rough cost will be about Rs 1 lakh," he added.