Stranded Guyanese who paid for COVID-19 test upset after flight from T&T cancelled

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Guyanese stuck in Trinidad and Tobago have been left baffled after they were informed that the flight which was scheduled to bring them home Thursday was cancelled.

The stranded Guyanese expressed anger that they had to pay approximately G$50,000 to do their COVID-19 test before the flight and now they will have to pay more money to do another test before getting on another flight.

Over 120 Guyanese are stranded in Trinidad as a result of COVID-19 and are desperately seeking to come home.

Nadia Singh Herbert, a Guyanese businesswoman, travelled to Trinidad and Tobago on March 16 to celebrate her husband’s birthday but could not return home due to the closure of Guyana’s airports on March 17.

She is the owner of Trini Grill in Guyana and a mother of two children – ages 9 and 10. The children were left in the care of their grandparents.

Herbert told the News Room during an interview on Friday that no reason was given for the cancellation of the flight.

The Guyanese were previously informed by the Guyanese Consulate General in Trinidad that a Caribbean Airlines flight was slated to bring them home on June 11.

“The guy at the Consulate said there is a new form that we have to fill out and we need to have the test done at least by Wednesday so that you can travel on Thursday,” Herbert said.

She added, “Apparently they are saying that COVID-19 tests are free over here, it is not you have to pay TT$1600 which is close to GY$50,000 and no public hospital is doing it for you.”

If a public hospital does the COVID-19 test, it takes approximately seven days to receive the results whereas at a private hospital the result takes 24 hours.

They were informed that the flight was cancelled when they were collecting their COVID-19 test results.

“Before we even collected the test results on Tuesday we heard that the flight was cancelled so we said we will hear what the Consulate has to say about this before we speculate,” Herbert said.

She said a group of Guyanese visited the Consulate General but no explanation was forthcoming on what caused the flight to be cancelled.

So I said what’s the next step…the guy at the Consulate said he would call and he never called unto today, the flight was supposed to leave yesterday,” the frustrated woman said.

“This is completely unfair because they are a lot of people right now who is burrowing money so that they could do this test to come home, they are people who are staying at hotels and it is hard on people over here and there is a lot of Guyanese people over here,” Herbert said.

She said some persons do not have a job to come home to and there are parents who have not seen their children in months.

“I am just hoping that they can sort out this situation as quickly as possible if there is anything the government can do for us we would be eternally grateful.”

Director-General of the Guyana Civil Aviation Authority, Egbert Field told the News Room on Wednesday that over 300 Guyanese stranded in Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago and the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line are facing difficulties accessing the PCR tests for COVID-19.

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