More than 1 lakh Indian nationals from the state of Kerala have expressed their desire to come back from different countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
COVID-19: Kerala begins NORKA registrations! More than 1 lakh Indian nationals from the state of Kerala have expressed their desire to come back from different countries in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The state government had asked the diaspora community to register for their return on the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) website. The highest number of requests have been made from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) followed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait among others, Manorama news reported. The development comes after reports of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) planning to bring back stranded Indians emerged. Notably, Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja confirmed to reporters on Monday that there is no sign of community transmission in Kerala, she added that it cannot be stated that the stage would never happen in the state, Manorama reported.
A total of 45,430 applications have been registered on the NORKA website from Dubai, 11,668 from Qatar, 11,365 from Saudi Arabia, 6350 from Kuwait, 4375 from Oman and 2,092 from Bahrain. More registration requests are expected in the coming days as the state government has not declared any deadline to register on the website. All Keralites residing in different parts of the world can register on the website after they have got themselves tested for Covid-19 and declared negative.
In contrast to a large number of requests registered from Gulf countries, only 321 Keralites have expressed their desire to come back from the United States despite the deadly virus taking gigantic proportions in the country. The U.S has registered close to 10 lakh positive cases of Coronavirus, highest in the world with over 50000 casualties. Another 621 requests have been made from the United Kingdom.
The number of Indian nationals wanting to return back to the country is expected to rise in the coming weeks. In view of the large number of requests made by Keralites, the state government has requested the Ministry of External Affairs to give priority to aged nationals, pregnant women, critically ill patients, children and those whose visiting visa has expired.
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had on Sunday said that the government will make arrangements for Covid-19 testing facility at all four international airports of the state. All the returnees will have to remain in self-quarantine even after their tests at the airport are found negative. The government has also asked the relatives and family members to desist from receiving their loved ones at the airports.
People who want to register on the website need to go to the NORKA website. Applicants can register on the website by filling basic details including their country of residence, present address and their contact numbers. Passport details including name, age, passport number and date of birth will also be required to be filled along with their permanent address in the state