The first batch of stranded Indian expatriates is set to arrive in the country from Maldives next week amid the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown.
Almost 200 Indians from Maldives will arrive in Kochi on a ship by next week. They are expected to complete a quarantine period of 14 days on their arrival.
The expatriates will have to bear the expenses incurred during the quarantine.
The Centre has also stated that it will not bear the cost of the tickets for expatriates returning home.
According to reports, there are about 2,000 Indians stranded in the Maldives.
The registration of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) wishing to return home has already begun in the Indian embassies of the respective nations.
The list of expatriates selected for the return journey will be determined on priority basis by the embassies. Once this list is approved by the state governments, the Centre will give the nod for the expatriates' return.
The Kerala government has requested the Centre to bear the travel expenses of certain categories.
Almost 4.14 lakh expats have registered with the NORKA website for returning home.
Out of these, 61,009 have lost their jobs, 9,827 are pregnant women, 10,628 are children, 11,256 are elderly and 2,902 are students. About 70,600 of the expatriates returning home for their annual vacation, 41,236 on expired visa, 27,100 with cancelled visas, 806 released from jails and 1,26,061 others have registered with NORKA.
(This article first appeared in onmanorama)