Although India has announced winding up of its evacuation operation in war-ravaged Yemen, many expatriates from Kerala have decided to stay back in that country.
According to Yemen returnees who have reached Kerala on Saturday, several nurses from Kerala have braced up to face the situation.
“With every passing day, the situation is getting worse in Yemen. The dynamics of fight between the Houthis and Saudi-led forces have changed suddenly. Bombings and attacks are taking place in non-targeted civilian areas,” said Jose Thomas, who has been working as an office staff in Sanaa for last 12 years. Thomas has returned along with his wife Seena, a nurse and two school-going children.
He said nurses who are staying back in Yemen may have such a heavy financial liability or commitments in home. Even the frantic calls from the family cannot bring them back. Secondly, several hospitals have threatened that the nurses who desert the institutions would not be given re-entry once the situation returns to normalcy. This has forced many nurses to continue with their employers. Such nurses find it difficult to get a visa to other Gulf destinations, said Thomas.
He said hospitals have agreed the nurses to give better protection in terms of their residence. Some hospitals have changed the hostel of the nurses to the basements of the hospitals.
Nurse Sarithamole V S said her hospital had 100 nurses. All except 12 have left Yemen. In some hospitals, managements are still reluctant to release the nurses by withholding their passports.
She said after the situation turned volatile, Yemen nurses have stopped reporting for duty. This has forced the managements to force the Indian nurses to continue to work in hospitals. There is still an impression among the expatriates that hospitals would not be attacked, she said.