Kerala

Migration corridors, trend may change post lockdown

Healthcare professionals will be in great demand in all countries

The pattern and trend of job-seekers migrating to West Asia and students going abroad for higher studies will undergo drastic changes after the COVID-19 lockdown period.

Healthcare professionals will prosper as the demand for doctors, paramedics and nursing personnel will go up as healthcare will get more focus in all countries in the wake of the pandemic that has hit all sectors, including medical and wellness tourism.

The shift would be visible in many sectors and the health sector would be most sought-after in the Middle East and European countries which were badly hit by COVID-19, sources in Non-Resident Keralties’ Affairs (NoRKA) said. At present, 80% of the five million Non-Resident Keralties (NoRK) in the GCC countries are blue-collared. Age is also going to be a major factor as youngsters would be in demand among the recruiters, the official said.

Automation, nationalisation, slump in economy and dipping price of crude oil are going to be the multiple worries for job-seekers and Kerala economy, sources said. Policy makers will have to look into digitally-enabled working and studying platform to ensure that things move on as China did in Wuhan.

S. Irudayarajan, Professor, Centre for Development Studies (CDS), told The Hindu that migration corridors would change and distance was going to be a major factor for migrants between districts, States and countries, and for students going abroad for higher studies.

Dr. Irudayarajan, who is also a member of the task force set up by the government to prepare a road map to resume economic activity post lockdown, said migration was going to be the biggest challenge as mobility by all means had been blocked for 21 days and there would be a new wave of people leaving the State.

“How long it will take to normalise travel and mobility is to be seen. It has to be normalised for the growth of economy and migration. Migration has become the keyword after the outbreak of COVID-19. It will take time to normalise and the trends and patterns will be known in three to six months,” he said.

Dr. Irudayarajan is of the view that job-seekers and students will seek nearby places, as the Wuhan experience of medical students is before them. “Students from abroad are major sources of income for universities abroad. It has to be seen how it is going to impact, as visa policies may change,” he said.

Middle East is the major destination for migrants from Kerala and 90% of them are in the Gulf countries. “If the Gulf countries are not going to support them, Keralites will have to look for new migration corridors. This will have a big impact on the economy as remittances will come down,” he said.

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Printable version | Jul 6, 2020 11:26:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/migration-corridors-trend-may-change-post-lockdown/article31259248.ece

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