Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to immediately withdraw the circular that mandates person travelling from Italy to India to obtain a certificate of having tested negative for COVID-19.
He said that many Indians are stranded in the Airports in Italy as they are not able to board flights to cities in India without this certificate.
“We are receiving information that many Indians are stranded in airports in Italy as they are not able to board flights to cities in India without this certificate. The certificates have been made mandatory irrespective of whether these travellers have symptoms or not. It has been brought to notice that foreign authorities are not ready to test people without symptoms as they are already overloaded with patients,” read his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare had on March 5 issued a travel advisory asking those arriving in the country from coronavirus-affected Italy, South Korea to procure a certificate showing them having tested negative for the deadly virus. The advisory came into force on March 10 and is a temporary measure till cases of COVID-19 subside, said the government in a statement.
Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan city of China has now spread to more than 90 countries and has killed over 3300 people worldwide. The countries like South Korea and Italy have recorded the maximum number of cases of the deadly virus besides China.
“Indians abroad wanting to return home are put to undue hardship by the circular mentioned above. While there is no difference of opinion that enough safeguards should be taken so that the disease does not spread, undue hardship to Indians abroad wanting to come home in an hour of crisis is totally unwarranted. They can be tested on arrival and kept in quarantine if necessary. There are necessary facilities in our country,” read his letter.