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From carpenters to students, from pilgrims to professionals, Indians were stranded around the world when the travel gates were closed | India News


WASHINGTON: Darpan Sharma arrived at the San Francisco airport with 130 Indians, none of whom showed symptoms of the coronavirus, to board the charter flight to India when word spread that they would not be going.

New Delhi was not going to accept them before they were quarantined for two weeks and would show up as a negative Covid-19 before boarding any flight that would land in India. In California, US authorities had test kits or quarantine facilities. He then went back to the Grand Princess for 131 Indians, most of them crew members of the cruise ship that was the center of world attention in the early days of the coronavirus, and now forgotten and rattling through the San Francisco Bay after dumping all its 3,500 international passengers

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Around the same time as Sharma and her friends were returning from the OFS airport, Tara Smith returned from India with her three children, flying through Dubai. Everyone was healthy, but it was a terrible experience on a 15-hour flight with an old woman panting and coughing behind them. When they landed at the OFS, there was no screening despite the fact that they had been exposed to crowds of people abroad for more than two weeks. They quickly went through customs and immigration in record time after completing a self-declaration that they had no fever or cough. It was only because of their good personal sense that they came home and were quarantined for two weeks.

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The contrasting experience of two groups underscores the lack of common protocols and practices among nations, as millions of people are stranded and abandoned to their own devices at the time of the coronavirus. As Smith is relieved to be back home before the world closes completely, Sharma and his friends camp out on the now-empty ship’s balcony, looking at the San Francisco skyline and wondering how they’ll get home. “We spend most of the day talking to each other and our families. Fortunately, we still have free wi-fi on the ship, “Sharma told ToI over the phone, adding that they were also doing some meditation and exercise to stay healthy and build endurance while waiting for the Indian government to rescue them.

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While Sharma and his crew may consider themselves lucky to have access to food and money, thousands of stranded Indians around the world, from Iran to Italy, are quickly running out of both, as airlines scrap flights and governments shut doors. travel an effort to contain the spread of the virus. In the United States, almost 200,000 Indian students face most of the disruption as universities have moved most online classes and some campuses have fallen. “We can manage a week or two, but the real challenge is whether this lasts for months,” said a University of Maryland student who did not want his name used, while lining up with the Patel brothers in College Park, where shoppers On Tuesday he cleaned up the store in a matter of hours in a frenzy of survival shopping.

The long-term implications of the pandemic not only on travel, but even on jobs and the economy are only just beginning to develop, and they are developing rapidly. Sharma, who works for Hughes Systique in Gurgaon, was on delegation to the Grand Princess cruise ship, working on her computer systems when the coronavirus panic occurred. It was an exciting concert, traveling the world doing what he loves. “When the year started, I couldn’t even imagine that something like this could happen,” he said. Now you are not sure if you have a job when you return home.

Times of India