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Kerala Kaumudi Online
Tuesday, 21 September 2021 10.23 AM IST

Expatriates should be given opportunity to return to work: Kerala writes to Centre

pinarayi-vijayan

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Kerala has sent a letter to Indian Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan, urging him to take immediate action to address the problems faced by expatriates traveling to Gulf countries. GCC countries, with the exception of Qatar and Bahrain, have denied Indians entry in the wake of the Covid pandemic. In this situation, a large number of expatriate Keralites reach Bahrain and Qatar through third countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka. For that they have to stay in quarantine for two weeks to go to Saudi Arabia.

The second problem is that GCC countries do not allow those who receive two doses of Covaxin to return as the vaccine doesn't have the approval of the World Health Organization. There are many people from abroad who have come home after receiving the first dose of vaccines like Pfizer and Sinopharm. There is a situation where the Gulf countries deny them entry as they do not have the means to get the second dose in India.

There is a need to discuss these issues with the governments of the Gulf countries and provide an opportunity for expatriates who are stranded at home to return to work as soon as possible. Unemployment of expatriates is an economic and social problem of the country itself. Therefore, in a letter to the Foreign Secretary, Chief Secretary VP Joy asked that steps be taken to resolve the issue without delay.

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