Kerala government today announced that the total number of Coronavirus patients in the state has fallen to just 34, after 61 people recovered today and no new cases have come to light.
With this, the state has reported no new COVID-19 cases in three out of the last four days.
The state still has 372 ‘high risk’ cases under observation in hospitals. In addition, another 21,300 are under home quarantine.
As of today, he said, 13,818 people belonging to other states have left Kerala, adding that it will up to migrants to return to their home states if they wish to.
There are over 4 lakh migrant workers in the state as of now. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said there are logistical issues, at the receiving states, that prevent an immediate return of everyone who wants to.
NON RESIDENT KERALITES
Even as only three Malayalis have lost their lives within Kerala, a whopping 80 Keralites have died in other countries and states of India.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said a total of 1.66 lakh Keralites from other parts of India have signed up for coming back to the state.
“We have issued 5,500 passes to these people. As of noon today, 515 out of these people have come back,” he said.
Only 20% of those who have signed up to return to Kerala have their own vehicles, Pinarayi Vijayan said, adding that further details have been shared with the central government for the facilitation of their return.
“We can explore the possibility that Keralites who wish to come back be allowed to come on the trains meant for picking up migrant labor in India,” he said.
In addition, he said, Kerala has also requested for special non-stop trains where required to bring back people belonging to the state from other parts of India.
He also said people who wish to come back can still sign up on the NORKA portal.
The highest number of people who wish to come back to Kerala are in Karnataka, at around 58,000, followed by around 51,000 from Tamil Nadu and around 22,500 from Maharashtra.
Around 5,000 people want to come back from Gujarat and around 3,300 from Uttar Pradesh and 1,700 from Bihar.
“We plan to bring everyone back in phases. If there is an uncontrolled influx, it will create a lot of problems,” he said.
Pinarayi Vijayan also said that Kerala should leverage the opportunities thrown up by the Coronavirus crisis, including the return of experienced entrepreneurs from overseas and other states.
In a surprising announcement, Vijayan also said that the government is willing to go the extra mile to attract investments and foster entrepreneurship.
CPI-M, and the Left movement in general, is often blamed for Kerala’s poor track-record in fostering entrepreneurship and industry.
He said logistics parks will be opened in various parts to promote exports. He also said Kerala’s sea and airports will be revamped to boost trade and commerce.
“One of the key areas will be value addition of agricultural items,” he said.