Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram | Published: June 18, 2020 1:32:20 am
Passengers arrive from Dubai by an Air India flight at Kochi International Airport, (PTI Photo/File)
Despite protests from NRIs and Opposition parties, the Kerala government on Wednesday reiterated that a Covid-19 negative certificate is mandatory to board special flights to the state from West Asia.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said those flying back home on chartered or Vande Bharat mission flights must take a Covid-19 test. “Infected and non-infected persons cannot be brought back by the same flight. The Union government should make facilities for Covid-19 testing in airports. There should be facilities for free tests for the economically backward expatriates. The government wants everyone coming to the state to take the test. That should not be construed as the government’s reluctance to receive the pravasis,’’ he told the media.
Last week, the state government department for expatriates’ welfare, NORKA ROOTS, issued a directive to sponsors of chartered flights that starting June 20, all passengers boarding the flights to Kerala should have a Covid-19 negative certificate.
The condition was introduced against the backdrop of the increasing number of positive cases among the returnees from abroad, mainly the Gulf.
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