As a precautionary measure against the further penetration of the coronavirus infection, India has halted flight and train services internally, as well as internationally until 31 March. But hundreds of Indians were caught unawares and stranded at airports both within the country and outside, unable to get back home.
On Tuesday, a video of a bunch of Indian medical students stuck in Kazakhstan went viral on Twitter, as they were unable to return homej; India has suspended all international and domestic air services until March in the wake of the COVID19 outbreak.
“To study medicine, we students from several regions of India – right from Kashmir to Tamil Nadu — we are all stranded here. We came to Kazakhstan on the 20 March and as soon as we reached we were informed that India’s international borders are being shut and no flights will depart for Delhi,” one of the masked students narrated the situation from an airport there.
“Our tickets have been cancelled; the local transports here also have been shut down so we cannot go back to the hostel because it is 745 miles (1,200 Kilometres) away from the airport. We have been here at the airport for three days now.
We are a strength of over 200 students. The locals are troubling us because we are foreigners to them. The airlines have told us that only if the Indian government requests, that the students will be able to return to India. We do not even have proper arrangements to eat,” he added.
Another video showed Indians waiting restlessly at Malaysia’s Kuala Lampur airport, just wanting to return home. In the video, an Indian man is urging the government to help them.
“We have been sleeping at the airport for the last three days. Nobody is helping us. The Indian Embassy is also not responding to us. There are no facilities here to even take a bath.”