As the situation worsened in war-torn Yemen, the worried Kerala government on Monday made a fresh appeal to nurses from the state to make use of all available opportunities and return home at the earliest.
“There is acute shortage of food and water. Petrol pumps and gas stations have dried up. Power situation is also bad. Most of the streets are littered with rubble,” C Renjith Verghese, a male nurse working with a military hospital in Sana’a for six years, told HT.
Hospital authorities had initially asked workers from India to stay back but on Sunday they pleaded helplessness, saying they could not ensure their safety anymore, he said.
“In our hospital, 240 Indians were working. Out of these, about 70% have left. The remaining 30% are planning to leave any time,” Verghese said, adding many nurses working in the interior areas were still stranded.
“Most of the returned are from urban areas. There are many working in remote areas. Since vehicular traffic was restricted for them it is difficult to reach evacuation points,” he said, adding more than 90% of hospital staff in the country were from India and Philippines.
“Since ours is a military area situation is not that bad. As India has taken a neutral position in the ongoing struggle both camps respect Indians. That is one of the reasons that not a single Indian was hurt in violence so far,” Verghese said.
Meanwhile, Kerala culture minister KC Joseph made a fresh plea to nurses to return. “Many are not willing to come back. I got a call from the Mabar area of Yemen where situation is not that tense. They said 45 nurses from the state are there and only 10-15 are willing to return,” he said, adding life was more important than salaries.