141 Guyanese return from Canada

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A total of 141 Guyanese who were stranded in Canada arrived home Thursday with the Canadian based Westjet Airline. The flight landed at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) at 15:15h.

The nationals are the first set of persons to return from Toronto, Canada since Guyana closed its airports to international flights on March 17. They were all happy to be back home after waiting several weeks for their flight to be confirmed.

Shania Thompson, a student, told the News Room that she contacted the Consulate at the end of April and was waiting since then to return home.

Shania Thompson

“Honestly, I can’t believe I’m here because I felt as though I was struggling for the four months that I couldn’t come home. It was a bit tough finding the funds to stay in Canada on my own,” Thompson told the News Room.

She added: “I was lonely being there without my family and it really took a toll on me, so I’m very relieved to be here now.”

Another passenger, Kavita Singh said she also waited four months to return home.

Kavita Singh

“It was devastating, it’s good to be back home, nowhere like home,” Singh said as she spoke of her experience in Canada where she had to stay indoors for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lisa Thompson, who was due to return to Guyana on March 6, said she made the most of her time in Canada with family but she is happy to be home.

Lisa Thompson

Shawn D’Aguiar, another passenger, urged persons to respect the quarantine period they agreed to and to keep themselves safe.

Having spent several months in Canada, he believes Guyanese are not taking the disease seriously.

“I don’t think Guyana is taking this how it is supposed to be taking it because every day you see cases rising,” he said.

Shawn D’Aguiar

D’aguair added that “you have to take more precaution about this because it very serious.”

Each passenger was required to fill a Repatriation form provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and provide a COVID-19 negative test 48 hours before their arrival.

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