Nineteen Indians have been trapped at Dubai International Airport in the past 21 days after India announced the blockade of COVID-19. According to a media report, they are tired, homesick and absolutely want to return home.
Most of these stranded people were in transit when India stopped inbound flights due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Gulf News reported.
In the following days, these stranded people made the airport benches their home.
After COVID-19 tests on March 21 – which was negative for everyone – they were transferred to the Dubai International Airport Hotel on March 25. All stranded Indians are currently housed in the airport hotel.
One of the stranded people is 37-year-old Arun Singh, who missed his 4 o'clock Emirates flight to Ahmedabad on March 22.
Singh says it's cruel irony that sleep is what he does most of the day now. "I have eaten and slept and eaten and slept since they brought us here (airport hotel). I feel good, but I really want to go home," said Singh, an IT officer at a UAE bank.
Unlike the other stranded Indians, Mr. Singh has a UAE residence visa, but cannot leave the airport due to the visa being suspended. Mr. Singh does not know when he will leave for India. "I send messages to Indian consulate officials every few days, but I still need to hear from them," he told Gulf News.
"Today I came across a heartwarming news report saying that the UAE has offered to repatriate Indians who are stuck in the UAE. I hope this will happen soon," Mr. Singh was quoted by the daily as saying.
Deepak Gupta, who has been stranded since March 18, said he was concerned about his pregnant wife in New Delhi.
"She needs me by her side. Soon I'll be at the airport for a month, I'm starting to lose hope," said Mr. Gupta, a senior executive at a multinational in Gurugram.
Like many others from Europe, Mr. Gupta landed in Dubai for a connecting flight to New Delhi.
However, his plans were made after India banned all incoming passengers from Europe.
Europe is the most affected continent in the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 109,000 people worldwide.
Over 75,000 virus deaths have been reported in Europe, with most deaths in Italy, Spain, the UK and France.