Kerala High Court on Thursday disposed of a plea seeking to bring back COVID-19 affected Malayali nurses from other states noting that the Central government has issued guidelines for the appointment of nodal officers who may be approached by nurses having grievances amid COVID-19 crisis.
A single-judge bench of Justice Bechu Kurian Thomas observed that the Centre has also issued guidelines to protect health workers and for the appointment nodal officers who may be approached by nurses in other states.
"It is hopeful that the State and Central government will take positive actions for the interest of the nurses. The nurses/family members are at liberty to approach the appropriate nodal officer, including the officer in Kerala, to have their grievances addressed," the bench noted.
During the hearing, the court orally observed that the nurses cannot be brought back to Kerala given the presently prevailing inter-state travel restrictions.
The court also observed that the State government has consulted with other state governments on the issue.
Advocate Paul Abraham Vakkanal, appearing for the state government, told the court that Kerala Chief Minister has consulted with Chief Ministers of other states on the issue.
"Once the inter-state restrictions are lifted, they may be brought back. If the nurses are brought back, applicable safety measures such as quarantine will be taken," Vakkanal said.
Counsel for the Central government said that the Centre has already issued appropriate guidelines for the States to follow for the interest of health workers.
The Central government had earlier told the High Court that the Kerala government will have to take up the matter with other states, following which the court had asked the state government to examine if there is any solution that may be considered.
( With inputs from ANI )