Sunday 28 February 2021 10:16 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
LONDON Feb 28: Overseas Indian Cultural Congress (OICC) UK representative attended a zoom meeting with Home Secretary Priti Patel to raise issues faced by those migrants those who are travelling to India for emergency purposes.
OICC UK representative Sunil Ravindran raised the issues faced by migrants with the Home Secretary who assured that she will look into the matter and consult with relevant people before a decision is made.
Although travel is illegal, there is an option where migrants those who are in a need to travel for emergency purposes can use flights under the Vande Bharath Mission. However, many countries, including India, are asking travellers to submit a negative Covid-19 PCR test result upon entry, taken within a certain timeframe beforehand.
UK travellers are not permitted to use the free NHS testing service and must instead go through a private firm to obtain their result. Typically these tests aren’t cheap.
According to the OICC UK complaint sent to UK government officials, a traveller to India, who is travelling due to family / personal emergencies is expected to undergo SEVEN tests as detailed below.
In the UK
Before travel 1 x RT PCR Test
Upon arrival 2 x RT PCR Tests 1 on 2nd day, 1 on 8th day
Upon arrival 2 x RT PCR Tests 1 on arrival, 1 on the 7th day
1 x Molecular Test 1 on arrival at the airport
Before travel 1 x RT PCR Test
The letter sent to the British and Indian government officials read: “This is turning out to be a huge financial burden on someone travelling due to family bereavement or other personal or family emergencies.
“The costs of tests in the UK alone will cost an average traveller around £390 per person, and if they are travelling as a family of four, the cost will be £1560 for RT-PCR tests in the UK. This is in addition to the costs of RT-PCR and other molecular tests in their destination countries such as India.
“To add to this concern, there is also the requirement for home quarantine for 10 days in the UK and 14 days in India. This whole process, especially the financial cost of travel when in an emergency is causing a lot of emotional and financial burden on the helpless individuals. Please also note that these individuals are abiding by the current UK government guidelines and travelling on an emergency.
“Therefore, with all respect, I urge you to recognise their genuine concerns in these difficult circumstances and implement appropriate actions immediately”, ended the letter.
OICC UK Joint Convener KK Mohandas had already sent several complaints to Kerala Chief Minister and Union Minister of State for External Affairs strongly protesting against the brutal treatment meted out to expatriates. OICC UK Convener Thekkumuri Haridas had also urged the state and central governments to take steps to alleviate problems faced by expatriates.
OICC UK regional leaders Soni Chacko, Mitcham Mahesh, Sunil Raveendran, Appa Ghafoor, Alsahar Ali, Rajesh, Baiju, Saju and Roni have been relentlessly voicing the issues faced by the migrants in the UK.
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