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"Omicron will attack us only, not the natives" - mocks Expat world.

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Create Date: 09/01/2022
Dubai:- Due to increasing cases of novel Corona variant, the omicron in Kerala, a new circular was released last day by the Health Ministry,  containing instructions for expatriates.  According to this, People reaching Kerala has to remain quarantined for 7 days, after which a PCR test is to be done, and what follows it is a self observation period for 8 days. 

For travelling to Kerala, expats are going through a tiresome process already. Before boarding from their location, they have to get a diagnosis test done, within the prescribed time interval of their flight. After reaching Kerala, they have to get another test done, ensuring that they are negative for corona virus. All these have added an additional expense to the travelling cost of expats, besides the ticket charges. Middle class people, who are struggling hard to make the ends meet are finding it difficult already. After all this, the officials are not sure about their health status, and have introduced the new laws. 

Even before this circular was 24 hours of age, something very important took place in Kerala. The new overbridge constructed at Edappal was inaugurated by the Honourable Minister of Public Works. A huge crowd gathered there, ignoring the existing COVID protocols and took part in the inaugural walk. The initial months of the year are also marked by several church and temple festivals all over Kerala. Apart from this, several political meetings and related activities are also taking place, all over the State. While observing the people's participation in these events, one can easily view the serious violation of saftey protocols. Even under these circumstances, no actions have been taken. 

Watching all this have left the expats in fury. Most of them have to fly back to their homeland for a very short duration. When a lion's share of this time is spent in quarantine, they often miss for what they have come a long way. "Omicron will board a flight only, not the bridge" is the new tagline, becoming popular in  Internet. Expats reaching Kerala for immediate needs will have to spend more time than their leave days in Kerala, due to this, which may affect their employment too.

Several States have already imposed night curfews, partial lock downs and closure of educational institutions to curb the spread. But the irony is that, when asked about  introduction of such regulations in Kerala, the same authorities reply that - "Situation hasn't become that worst in Kerala. If such a condition arises, we will think about it."  No one have understood the logic behind Covid rates become alarming only when a flight lands in Kerala, and becoming nothing while talking about the violations happening here. It was before a few days that a discrepancy in the PCR test results of an expat was reported, and actions taken against the medical staff, present that day. Similarly, either the laws must be imposed on all equally, or must allot due reductions in the new circular.

ATHIRA SREEKUMAR
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