Monday, 30th October 2017

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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan seeks to calm expat fears

At the moment, 181 Covid-19 patients are under treatment in Kerala with 20 new cases on Sunday

  • Published 30.03.20, 2:56 AM
  • Updated 30.03.20, 2:56 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Pinarayi Vijayan (Telegraph file picture)

Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged the Malayali expatriate community to keep the state informed of the problems they were facing in their host countries in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

The words of concern came in a letter the chief minister sent out to the expatriate community enquiring about their problems and how the state can address them.

“We wish that the entire humankind should be free from the clutches of this pandemic. With that, we need to ensure that all Malayali expatriates overcome this situation,” he wrote in the letter in Malayalam dated March 22.

The chief minister recalled how the state was among the first to start the battle against the coronavirus after Malayali medical students from Wuhan became the first three positive cases in the state.

At the moment, 181 Covid-19 patients are under treatment in Kerala with 20 new cases on Sunday. The government said 18 of the 20 new patients arrived from abroad while the remaining two were primary contacts of patients who had tested positive earlier.

In some relief, four people under treatment in Pathanamthitta have tested negative. So far, 21 patients have been cured in the state.

“Expatriates have been badly affected and those from Kerala are no different,” Vijayan wrote, addressing all the expatriates who lost jobs, were stranded in other places, those who are unable to renew their passports or visas and those unable to return from India.

“It is true that the state government has its limitations in intervening in these matters. But we cannot sit helplessly thinking about the limitations,” he said, urging the community to gather data about the problems the expatriates were facing.

“If we can gather specific data about the problems expatriates are facing, it will open the doors to solving the problems,” he assured them.

“Norka and Loka Kerala Sabha are already receiving such information in large numbers,” Vijayan said, referring to the Non-Resident Keralites Affairs and the world Malayali organisation.

“Some of the problems can be solved by the state government. Others can be solved with the help of the Centre and the embassies,” Vijayan said.

“Anyway, one thing is clear, it is not just one domestic front engaged in the fight against Covid. But an expatriates’ front is also there in our fight against Covid,” he said.

He highlighted the contribution of Malayali nurses and doctors in their host countries. “It is clear that doctors and nurses from Kerala are in the frontline of the battle against Covid, he wrote, lauding the healthcare community working abroad.

“So we have every moral right to say that our expatriate community deserves all consideration and hence we need to strive to protect their interests,” he added.