Kerala

COVID-19 takes the lives of 160 NoRKs

Over 100 have died in the Gulf and 40 in the United States

At least 160 Non resident Keralites (NoRKs) have succumbed to the COVID-19 pandemic in different parts of the globe. Among them, 60 people have died in the UAE and 40 in the United States.

The number of deaths of NoRKs due to COVID-19 across the six countries that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council has crossed the 100 mark. The United Kingdom has recorded the death of 12 NoRKs.

The majority of them hailed from Pathanamthitta, Kottayam, Malappuram and Thrissur districts.

GCC countries

The total number of cases in the GCC (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Oman) is 2 lakh with nearly 850 deaths. Deaths have gone unreported due to overlapping between comorbidity and COVID-19 mortality.

Despite India extending support to the GCC nations by sending medical teams and health-care professionals, the situation in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait has been a cause for concern for Kerala because of the huge expatriate workforce in these countries.

The disruption of industrial and commercial activity in the UAE and Saudi Arabia will have a lasting impact on the State. Non-Resident Indians are at the risk of losing their jobs in the GCC nations as many projects have been postponed and expenses pruned.

Fall in oil prices

Besides, the fall in oil prices has made a disastrous effect on the revenues of Saudi Arabia.

Already these countries have adjusted existing curfews and eased travel restrictions within their territories.

Saudi Arabia has imposed 24-hour lockdown in Mecca and its vicinity to combat the spread of the deadly virus.

The UAE has also eased nationwide curfew though its Health Department is focussing on regions with labour camps and habitats of low-income workers. Kuwait has suspended work in public places until May 31.

Incidentally, Bahrain has reopened its airport for transit passengers but has banned the entry of foreigners and non-residents.

The GCC nations have also asked residents to tone down their Id celebrations.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 10:04:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/covid-19-takes-the-lives-of-160-norks/article31653313.ece

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