June 6, 2020
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Coronavirus: Keralites in Philippines, Malaysia plead for government mediation

Amongst coronavirus scare, Indians, mostly Keralite students and their families, who are stranded within the Philippines, Malaysia and Italy airports, have pleaded immediate intervention from the Indian government to evacuate them at the earliest.

Anmy, one among the stranded students at Manila said that “we are stranded at Manila airport since Tuesday afternoon. As our university canteen was closed, we’ve no other option but to return to India. Most airlines have cancelled their flights. The officials have given us an ultimatum to go away the country within 72 hours. The airport are going to be completely closed by March 20″.

The plight of Indian students comes in but every week since the Indian government airlifted around 300 Indians, which also included an enormous contingent from Kerala.

Anmy said that she feared that the Philippines may heading for an entire shutdown. She added “Even the general public transport system is headed for a complete closedown within the coming days. Though we tried temporary arrangements here, neither buses nor taxis are available. Many Kerala students are stranded in Malaysia also. The govt has to intervene immediately,” .

In Italy, a gaggle of over 100 Indians, mostly Keralites, are stuck in Rome, due to the govt stipulation of furnishing the COVID-19 negative certificate. rather than the coronavirus negative certificate, the Indians will need to undergo mandatory 14-days-long quarantine once they reach India. The medical team who flew right down to Italy had taken the specimen for the COVID-19 tests but the results are yet to be released, the scholars said.

“Situation is getting very grim here. The embassy officials are unreachable and that we were expelled from the bedroom we’ve been staying because the embassy did not pay the rent. They told us that we’ll be brought back after completing the coronavirus tests and can arrange the accommodation during the amount . With the assistance of a couple of Malayali organisations, we were ready to extend our stay here,” said Saidas Sivadasan, a masters student at the University of Siena, Rome.

The Palakkad native has also added that they’re not having the ability to return to their institutions as conveyance has completely pack up there. “As conveyance is totally closed, we do not have many options to travel back to our universities. The NGOs who try to assist us with food are being arrested by Italian police here,” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar, during a tweet, said: “Appreciate the difficult situation of Indian students and other passengers waiting in transit at Kuala Lumpur airport. We’ve now approved Air Asia flights for you to Delhi and Vizag. These are tough times and you ought to understand the precautions. Please contact the airline.”

Earlier, Rajya Sabha MP Elamaram Kareem submitted a letter regarding the difficulty of scholars in Italy to Jaishankar on Monday. He wrote  “around 90 students and others belonging to Kerala are in Rome and that they are unable to fly back to India as Air India isn’t allowing them to board the aircraft since March 11. Unfortunately, the embassy’s decision will come only after getting a COVID-19 negative certificate. Ministry should take necessary arrangements for his or her safe travel at the earliest”.

Pic Courtesy: google/ images are subject to copyright

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