Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking help for Keralites stuck in Dubai amid the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent travel ban. The Kerala CM brought the ineffective preventive and quarantine methods by the government in the UAE to the Prime Minister's attention and urged him to take the matter up with the UAE government.
CM Vijayan wrote, "Out of the 2.8 million Indian migrants in UAW, nearly 1 million are from Kerala. It is learned that the situation in Dubai is worsening. We are receiving a number of complaints regarding inadequate isolation and quarantine facilities in the country and apprehensions are raised about the imminent community spread of disease." He added that the majority of Keralites in the UAE are blue-collar workers who live in crowded facilities in Dubai and therefore the probability of spreading of the disease is very high.
"I would request that this matter may be taken with UAE government urgently so as to ensure adequate food, medicines, quarantine and emergency service facilities to the Indian diaspora in Dubai," the CM wrote.
Speaking to Republic TV on Thursday, Kerala CM Vijayan said that the efforts of the state have been appreciated by the Centre and that his state became a model for other state's fight against Coronavirus. "We have been vigilant since the beginning. It needs to be noted the cabinet secretary appreciated the efforts of the Kerala health department. The fact that Kerala announced relief package before anybody else, and that Kerala announced lockdown before anybody else, brings it in the forefront of India's fight against COVID."
"We are moving towards conducting mass testing as prescribed by WHO to ascertain the spread of the virus. 80% positive cases that have been reported are those who have international travel history. Remaining are those who have maintained close contact with such people. There is no threat of community transmission in Kerala based on information so far. We are ready to meet any eventuality," Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan added.