The Kerala High Court on Tuesday heard the plea seeking to bring back Malayali nurses to Kerala from other states. This comes after the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Kerala government raised concerns about the treatment of the COVID-19 affected Malayali nurses in other states citing "poor health and working conditions" as the reason. The Centre in its response has now stated that the state government would have to consult other states regarding the matter.
Advocate Abraham Vakkanal, appearing for the Kerala government, said that the state chief secretary has written to Union cabinet secretary urging him to relax travel restrictions amid the lockdown to bring back the nurses. The petitioner revealed that amid the lockdown, 68 Malayali nurses in other states had reached out to inform that they are not being given treatment and that facilities for food and shelter are also not readily available for them.
The Counsel for the Central government in response to the petition said that "the Centre had issued guidelines for the protection of health workers, but in this specific case, state governments have assured that nurses are being given proper treatment."
"The plea is on apprehensions that they are not being treated well in the other states. Centre could help if there is any necessary requirement thereafter," the Centre's counsel said.
Advocate Vakkanal said that the state has sought permission from the Centre and is waiting for approval to take further actions if permission is received on the matter. The Division Bench of Justice PV Asha and Justice V Shircy who conducted the hearing suggested the Kerala Government to perhaps hold a video-conference between the states of concern on the matter. The matter has now been slated for further hearing on April 30.