By Pragya Kaushika
New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): Former Union tourism minister and BJP MP KJ Alphons on Wednesday hit out at Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan for questioning the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for bringing back Indians from foreign nations.
Commenting on Kerala Chief Minister's statement that bringing Indians back from foreign nations without proper testing of COVID-19 is dangerous, Alphons said that India is taking every possible measure to ensure there is no risk involved.
"The Central government has issued detailed SOPs on how to bring back Indian nationals stuck abroad. It's a four-page document. India would be doing thermo testing of everyone who will board the plane," added the senior leader.
The former Union minister said that the government is also dealing with issues like no COVID-19 test facilities in many nations from where Indians would be brought back.
"COVID testing facility doesn't exist in many Gulf countries and if we test people, the results will take too much time to come. So, the Government of India has done the practical thing of thermo testing. In addition, when these people come back to their states they would be tested and quarantined for 14 days this is adequate SoP, " said Alphons.
He pointed out that Kerala Chief Minister was keen to get back people stranded in other countries. "But now that Centre is bringing them back, the Chief Minister has objections," said Alphons.
"Kerala Chief Minister himself started registration of people stuck abroad with the NORKA (Non-Resident Keralites Affairs), agency that looks after foreign nationals. He actually started the process ten days back without giving people a clear picture. About 3.6 lakh Keralites are registered and they many thought they will be brought back. The Chief Minister should have told people that the state government is just collecting data and have no intention of bringing them back or at least said that they are consulting the Central government," added Alphons.
" There are lots of people who need critical care, those who need operations and there are women in advanced stage pregnancy and then there are those who have lost their jobs and want to come back. I am told 1.6 lakh people applied to come back through various embassies," he added. (ANI)