Coronavirus | Kerala stuck in stalemate with Centre over test for expatriates

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan. File   | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Kerala has stuck to its stance that expatriates returning by chartered and other flights from June 25 should not be allowed to board the flight untested for COVID-19, even as the Centre rejected the State’s request for a relatively speedier and cheaper TrueNat Beta CoV test.

“We cannot compromise on the security of those waiting to fly down and the government is committed to bringing all Non-Resident Keralites [NoRKs] back home. All boarding the aircraft should undergo the test and they should not get infected during the flight,” Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said on Tuesday.


In the wake of the difficulties pointed out by Indian missions to the External Affairs Ministry on the conduct of tests, the government will hold consultations with the Centre to overcome the situation without causing any hardship to the NoRKs. “We are expecting a quick decision,” the Chief Minister said, giving details of the External Affairs Ministry’s communication to the Chief Secretary.

Operational clearance

The State had made it clear that operational clearance would be given only to airline companies and chartered flight operators that ferry COVID-19 positive and negative passengers on separate flights.

The State urged the Centre to direct the embassies to make arrangements to conduct the test where expatriates are facing difficulties in getting them done. For those who cannot afford the test, it should be done free of cost.

The External Affairs Ministry, which held discussions with various Indian missions abroad following the stance taken by the Cabinet, has informed the State that Rapid Antibody Tests were being conducted in the United Arab Emirates and TrueNat test could not be conducted.

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Printable version | Jun 19, 2021 9:20:40 PM |

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