21 from Italy return to Kerala
Kochi, Mar 14: Twenty one passengers, who were stranded in coronavirus-hit Italy, were brought here on Saturday following which they were shifted to Aluva hospital for investigation, airport sources said.
Several Indian passengers have been stuck in the European nation, despite having confirmed tickets.
This was after Italian authorities and Emirates airlines refused to take them following a ciruclar issued by the DGCA stipulating that people travelling from Italy or South Korea and desirous of entering India should obtain certificates of having tested negative for COVID-19 from those countries.
"Where are we supposed to go?," a woman, stranded at an airport in Italy, after having booked tickets to Kerala was heard asking in a video that has gone viral.
Many passengers like her were heard making desperate pleas for being airlifted to their home state- Kerala.
".. we have come from Kerala to work here in Italy. We are expatriates... we have left our jobs and homes... You tell us what we are supposed to do? Where will we go other than our state?" another woman passenger asked in the video.
Children and pregnant women were among the 300-odd Indians stranded at the airports in Itay.
Another passenger said emirates airlines and the Italian authorities were prepared to take them to India, but it was the Indian government which was insisting on the certificate.
Meanwhile, Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has banned visitor's entry to the terminals with immediate effect.
CIAL has also requested all passengers to limit the number of people accompanying them to the airport.