The stranded Indians were tested for COVID-19 on March 21 which was negative for all. Later, they were shifted to the Dubai International Airport Hotel on March 25
Dubai: From the past 21 days nineteen Indians are stuck at the Dubai International Airport after India announced a nationwide lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The Indian nationals are tired, homesick and are frantically waiting to return to their homes.
The Gulf News reported most of these stranded people were in transit when India stopped inbound flights because of the Coronavirus pandemic. The Airport benches became their home for the days that followed.
The stranded Indians were tested for COVID-19 on March 21 which was negative for all. Later, they were shifted to the Dubai International Airport Hotel on March 25. Currently, all the stranded Indians are lodged at the airport hotel.
One of those stranded is 37-year-old Arun Singh, who missed his 4 a.m. Emirates flight to Ahmedabad on March 22. “I have been eating and sleeping and eating and sleeping ever since they put us here (airport hotel). I am comfortable but am desperate to go home,” said Singh, an IT employee at a UAE bank.
Singh, unlike the other stranded Indians, has a UAE residency visa but he cannot leave the airport because of suspension of visas. He does not know when he will be allowed to leave for India. “Every few days I send messages to the Indian consulate officials but am yet to hear back from them,” he told Gulf News.
“Today, I came across a heartwarming news report about UAE offering to repatriate Indians who are stuck. I hope that happens soon,” Mr. Singh was quoted by the daily. Deepak Gupta, who has been stranded since March 18, said he is concerned about his pregnant wife in New Delhi.
“She needs me by her side. Soon, I will have completed one month at the airport, I am beginning to lose hope,” said Mr. Gupta, a senior employee at a multi-national company in Gurugram.
Gupta, like many others, landed in Dubai from Europe for a connecting flight to New Delhi. However, his plans were hit after India banned the entry of all incoming passengers from Europe.
Europe is the worst-hit continent by the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 1,09,000 people worldwide. In Europe, over 75,000 virus deaths have been reported with most fatalities in Italy, Spain, Britain and France.