Monday 13 April 2020 1:09 AM UTC
By A Staff Reporter
LONDON: Over 3,000 British travellers currently stranded in India, including UK Malayalees, are provided 19 charter flights for them to be brought back to the UK. Alongwith flights from different parts of India there is also a charter flight which will leave Thiruvananthapuram via Kochi on 15th April 2020.
However, it seems UK Malayalees who are stranded in Kerala are not very keen on returning to the UK at present due to the present situation prevailing.
They are all opting to stay put in Kerala on the advice they are receiving from their relatives and friends in the UK.
On speaking to a few UK Malayalees stranded in Kerala it has become obvious that they are not at all planning to return the UK any soon.
They haven’t booked on any of the charter flights scheduled to leave Thiruvananthapuram via Kochi on 15th April 2020.
Sasankan Govindan from Croydon, who is at present in Varkala, his native home back in Kerala, spoke to Kerala Calling: “Yes, I have been informed by the British High Commission a few days ago informing me that there is a evacuation flight from Thiruvananthapuram.
I am not willing to come back to the UK now. My ticket was with Emirates and I am waiting for their service.
“I am not coming taking into consideration my age, I am self employed and therefore I cannot do anything without normal business start to function. Also my son advised me to stay here back and not come to the UK now.
I know that it is not right as I have to remain loyal to my country where I am living but I have to take my son’s advice and stay in Kerala until the situation in UK has improved”, Sasankan said.
Jayaprakash Panicker, from Croydon, who is at present in Kavalam in Alappuzha district is also held up in his hometown. Jayaprakash spoke to Kerala Calling.
“I gave all my details as per the instructions by the British High Commission and I had received an acknowledgement from them confirming that my request will be looked into. It is now ten days and I hadn’t received any further information from them.
There was no indication from the British High Commission that they will charge air fare to arrange a return flight”, he said.
Jayaprakash find the present government’s efforts to address the Coronavirus as efficient. “For the first time I am wholeheartedly supporting Chief Minister Pinrayi Vijayan in his endeavours to address Corona situation efficiently.
Jayaprakash too has been advised by his relatives and friends back in the UK not to return and he has too found a sound reason why he shouldn’t taking into consideration his age and the situation in the UK.
Alsahar Kannu from Croydon, who is at present at his hometown in Kaniyapuram in Thiruvananthapuram, also had to say the same. On being asked whether he would prefer to return to the UK now he said:”News from US and Europe coming out is very alarming especially the UK situation.
I am following the number of cases and deaths which are really concerning and frightening to go to the UK for two reasons. A risk of infection during the travel through airports and being close to other passengers and the second concern is in regards to getting preliminary care in UK.
Having heard the opinions from my family and friends from the UK and Kerala unanimously I have agreed to stay in Kerala. I am not registering myself to fly through a charter flight and will wait for the situation to improve.
On speaking about the general situation in Kerala all of them had to share the same views in regards to the way on how Kerala is addressing the Covid pandemic.
All of them were asked to in quarantine with them getting calls three times from the District Medical Officer’s office enquiring about their health and well being.
Kerala Police too were in constant contact with them to check on their stay and move about to ensure theirs and others’ safety.
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