More than one lakh Non-Resident Keralites (NRKs) have reportedly enrolled on Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) website after it began the registration process for bringing back people from various countries on Sunday.
As expected, a majority of the applicants were from the United Arab Emirates. As many as 45,430 persons, which accounted for 45 per cent of the total applications so far, were from Dubai, followed by 11,668 from Qatar, 11,365 Saudi Arabia, 6,350 from Kuwait, 4,375 from Oman, and 2,092 from Bahrain.
Only 321 people from the United States have evinced their interest in coming back despite the exponential rise in the number of COVID cases. US recorded 960,000 cases on Sunday, and the deaths surpassed 54,700.
As many as 621 people from the UK and over 100 from Asian countries, including Malaysia and Singapore, too applied for return.
Kerala government has urged the Centre to give preference to people with expired visiting visas, aged, pregnant women, children and critically ill first patients while screening applications.
The number is expected to rise in the coming days. NORKA has not set any deadline for the submissions.
Those who are interested to return may register their names with NORKA’s website:
after getting themselves tested for COVID-19 and obtaining a negative certificate.
The state government is awaiting nod from the centre to bring people back from abroad.
On Sunday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan promised to set up COVID testing centres at all four international airports in the state during a video conference with the representatives of Kerala community in various Gulf countries.
NDTV reported, quoting government sources, that the ministry of external affairs has started planning for the evacuation of Indian nationals abroad. This being done in coordination with the Civil Aviation Ministry, Air India, state governments and Indian missions abroad, said the report.
Protocol for returnees
All returnees should follow these norms:
• All returnees should remain in home quarantine for 14 days even their tests at the airports retuned negative.
• Those who cannot stay at home should stay at the government-run quarantine facilities.
• Relatives should desist from receiving the returnees at the airports.
• All the returnees should go home directly and should not visit friends or relatives en route
• Those who arrive with COVID symptoms will be shifted to hospitals for further tests.