Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
“It is a complete mess. We entered India after undergoing thermal scanning at Kolkata Airport. Now we are not allowed to move out of Srinagar Airport.”
This was the last conversation I had with my sister, who returned to Srinagar from Bangladesh via Kolkata on 19 March. Even after getting screened at Kolkata Airport, she was not allowed to go home.
In light of the coronavirus outbreak, I understand that it is now procedure to be quarantined and tested. Unfortunately, as per our last conversation, there are no doctors present at the airport. It has been a long duration of travel for her but has unfortunately only got worse.
My sister had luckily run all tests before traveling and was fit to return home, but now stands exposed to the risk of contacting an infection because everyone from the flight has been housed in a big room outside the airport. That is risking everybody and authorities are doing nothing on ground.
She has been stranded there for a few hours now, without any facilities. Our parents are not being informed of her whereabouts either.
On top of that, she told me that several students who had contacts or were VIPs were let go without being quarantined or tested.
The rest, however, had to submit to the directions of the authorities and wait amidst all the chaos. After many hours, she called to inform that they are taking everyone to a quarantine facility. Which one? Where? She had no answers as she wept over the phone. There is no way to contact my sister for a long time because authorities had confiscated her phone too.
Finally, she called to tell us they were at a hotel and quarantine there with others. We do not know who is responsible for this, but immediate action must be taken. We need to do better to tackle the COVID-19 emergency.
(This is a developing story.)
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