As countries impose greater restrictions on travel and flights, it’s becoming increasingly hard for some travelers to make their way back home.
Indian national Jaskeerat Singh Bakshi is studying medicine in the Philippines capital of Manila. On Monday, the Philippines locked down its largest and most populous island of Luzon — home to more than 50 million people, including the capital — in an effort to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Foreign nationals were told they had a 72-hour window to voluntarily leave the country.
“This pushed everybody into panic, most of all the students who comprise the large majority of Indians there,” Bakshi told CNN.
Bakshi said he got on an early flight the next day to Kolkata with a stop over in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur.
But mid-journey India issued new travel guidelines prohibiting flights entering the country from Afghanistan, Malaysia and Philippines with immediate effect. And Malaysia had that day issued tough restrictions prohibiting any foreign nationals from entering the country.
“This leaves us with nowhere to go. Our connecting flight from Kuala Lumpur to India was canceled,” he said. “Neither the Malaysian authorities will accept us nor is there any other way to get to India.”
He and 250 other Indian nationals were left stranded overnight in the airport.
By Wednesday, Bakshi has received good news. The Indian High Commission in Malaysia and India’s Foreign Affairs Ministry had got involved and said they had secured flights to bring the stranded travelers back home.