Stuck in US for two months, 100 tourists flown back to Chandigarh
The Air India flight that carried them back landed at the Chandigarh airport via Delhi around 1.30pm; all passengers asymptomatic, says Mohali civil surgeon
As many as 100 people from the region who got stuck in the United States of America (USA) following the Covid-19 outbreak landed at the Chandigarh International Airport on Friday.
The Air India flight that carried them back landed at the airport via Delhi around 1.30pm. Most of the passengers had visited the US on tourist visas, but their trip soon turned into a nightmare after the outbreak hit the American soil.
“We are lucky to be back in our homeland. The Covid situation in the USA was such, every passing day was becoming a nightmare,” said one of the passengers. This, he said, was a mutual feeling among them.
On touchdown, all passengers were medically screened for symptoms. They were sent to institutional quarantine for 14 days at their respective locations.
Of the 100 passengers, five are from Mohali, 12 from Haryana, 16 from Himachal Pradesh, nine from Chandigarh, two from Uttarakhand and the rest from various districts of Punjab.
Sukhdarshan Singh, a native of Hoshiarpur in Punjab, who went to New York with his family in February, said, “I cannot express the happiness I felt on reaching my homeland. We were not sure if we would be able to come back. The situation in the US was pretty bad and we really wanted to leave.”
“I was homesick and wanted to come back desperately. Every passing day in the US was becoming a nightmare for me. The way the Indian government acted proactively is commendable,” said Priya, who is from Patiala and had gone to New York on a tourist visa in March.
Another resident of Amritsar, Gagandeep Kaur, who visited Maryland on a fellowship in December last year, said, “We are happy to be back, but there was complete mismanagement on the part of the district administration. Our flight landed at 1.30pm, but we were at the airport till 5pm. I will be reaching Amritsar at 9pm. On the other hand, the US consular officials were very cooperative,” she said.
Mohali civil surgeon Dr Manjit Singh, who led the screening and medical examination of the passengers, said all were asymptomatic.
District nodal officer Dr Harmandeep Kaur Brar said the passengers will be quarantined at government facilities in their respective states for 14 days as a precautionary measure.
MORE RETURN FROM CANADA, MALAYSIA
Besides the nine passengers from US, 16 other Chandigarh residents returned from Canada and Malaysia on Friday.
As many as 13 residents arrived from Canada after landing at the Delhi and Amritsar airports, while three from Malaysia arrived at the Amritsar airport.