Covid: India’s ‘unbelievable’ situation as rates rise
20 April 2021
A man who recently arrived back in the UK from India said the situation in the country is “unbelievable”.
Davinder Prasad, 70, is self-isolating in Coventry after returning from Delhi, where he had been visiting his sister after she had a heart attack.
More than 200,000 cases have been reported daily in the country, and it has been added to the UK’s “red list” of banned countries.
But the reported rates are “just the tip of the iceberg,” Mr Prasad said.
He arrived home six days ago, after travelling to India in February to he was allowed to travel to India on compassionate grounds.
When he first arrived he said “people were living a normal life”.
“Nobody was following any social distancing, nobody bothered about wearing face masks, life was going on as normal,” he said.
‘Terrible, terrible situation’
He said he “cannot believe” how the situation has changed since he returned home.
“India is a huge country of 1.3 billion people – safe distancing is out of the question,” he said.
“This new strain is affecting the younger people in the country now, that’s the worrying part.”
Delhi, the capital, announced a week-long lockdown after a record spike in cases.
From 04:00 BST on Friday, most people who have travelled from India in the last 10 days will be refused entry to the UK.
The president of Coventry Mercia Lions Club, who is now self-isolating at home, said people were fleeing the country ahead of the travel ban.
“Ever since Delhi imposed lockdown [there has been] an exodus of migrant workers which is making matters worse.
“It’s a terrible, terrible situation and I don’t know how it is going to unfold in the coming days. It’s one of the biggest crises India has ever seen,” he said.
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Students hoping for a return to the UK from India are also affected by the travel ban.
Rohish Mirje, 23, had a flight booked to the UK on 4 May to complete his master’s degree at the University of Warwick.
He had returned home to Sangli in Maharashtra from Coventry at Christmas and after paying more than £30,000 in tuition and accommodation fees, he said he is now faced with having to pay £1,700 to quarantine in the UK.
“I would urge the UK to give us a discount or exemption on this, or even make a strict rule that we quarantine in hostels or accommodation, ” he said.
“This is affecting thousands of students in India and we are not coming for tourism, we are here for education.
“When I heard about the travel ban it was like all the dreams were scattering, it’s been a difficult time for us,” he added.
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