Kerala seeks Centre's intervention to address woes of expats

Travellers wear masks as they arrive at the Dubai International Airport. File/REUTERS/Christopher Pike

Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government on Thursday sought the urgent intervention of the Centre to address problems faced by expatriates, who are hoping to return to their workplace in gulf nations.

Chief Secretary V P Joy shot off a letter to Foreign Secretary, Harsh Vardhan Shringla, in which he pointed out that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, except Qatar and Bahrain have denied entry to Indian workers citing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Keralites are reaching Qatar and Bahrain through other nations, including Nepal and Sri Lanka.

If they want to travel to Saudi Arabia, they need to undergo a quarantine of two weeks," the letter said.

The top official also claimed that the members of GCC were not allowing Keralites to return and resume work despite having received two doses of Covaxin as it does not have the approval of World Health Organisation.

"Those who have received one shot of Pfizer or Sinopharm vaccine from abroad are unable to get the second dose of those resulting in ban of entry to GCC countries," it said.

The CPM-led government urged the central government to take up the matter with the gulf nations in order to facilitate the return of Indian workers.

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