Stranded Guyanese in Canada desperate to return home

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By Bibi Khatoon

Several Guyanese who are stranded in Canada are calling for flights to be facilitated for them to return home.

The News Room understands that over 160 Guyanese are in Canada awaiting repatriation and are desperate to return to their families.

Most of them were slated to return at the end of March but by then, Guyana closed its airports in an effort to tackle the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

Kamini Singh of Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD) told the News Room that she travelled to Canada on March 14 and had a return flight set for March 29.

Singh is desperate to return to her husband and four children.

“I did not come here to stay this long…I got stuck but then my life is home in Guyana with my family, my kids,” Singh told the News Room.

To travel home, Singh –like all other Guyanese –had to complete a repatriation form and submit it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

She has since received a confirmation email.

Stranded: Kamini Singh

Meanwhile, one woman of Meten-meer-zorg on the West Coast of Demerara explained that she is pregnant and has not visited the hospital since the cost for healthcare for foreigners is more than she can afford. She travelled to Canada on March 11.

The Guyanese woman who asked for her identity to be withheld, said: “I did not expect it to be so long, it has been three months, probably the longest vacation I have ever had but with my situation, it’s hard.”

The News Room also spoke with 22-year-old Rhodia Bacchus of Zeelugt, West Coast Demerara (WCD) who said her business has been out of operation since she is in Canada.

Bacchus is also a Canadian citizen but resides in Guyana and hopes she will be considered to return home.

“I am staying with family but I am not working so I feel it’s like kind of a burden that I’m here,” she said.

Hundreds of Guyanese have been repatriated from the United States of America, Barbados and Trinidad.

When contacted, the Communications Officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Keisha Gilkes told the News Room that the Ministry is working with the Civil Aviation Authority and the National COVID-19 Task Force to bring home Guyanese from Canada.

She said there is a plan in place to do so after those in the United States and Caribbean return home.

Passengers will be informed as soon as there is confirmation, Gilkes told the News Room.

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