Other States

Unending ordeal for Iran-returned 230 Kashmiri students in Rajasthan quarantine centres

A batch of Indian nationals evacuated from Iran reach Indian Army Wellness Facility at Jaisalmer Mil Station for their mandatory quarantine period in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

A batch of Indian nationals evacuated from Iran reach Indian Army Wellness Facility at Jaisalmer Mil Station for their mandatory quarantine period in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Despite the report of tests being negative, we are huddled together and at times mixed with positive cases. Many of us have started taking medicine for the panic attacks, says a student

Some of the over 230 students from the Kashmir valley, who are in Rajasthan’s Jaisalmer after returning from Iran, on Saturday complained of growing panic attacks and shortage of cash. They are allegedly having to stay in for an extended quarantine period

“Every day we are told the authorities are shifting us back. We are living a life in quarantine since March 15. This is our fourth week and we are clueless when this will end,” a student, pursuing MBBS in a Tehran University, told The Hindu over the phone.

Also read: Magazine | Isolation and mental health: the psychological impact of lockdown

“Despite the report of tests being negative, we are huddled together and at times mixed with positive cases. Many of us have started taking medicine for the panic attacks. If not COVID-19, the growing anxiety is killing us. We are all in the age group of 19 to 25,” she added, on the condition of anonymity.

Over 230 students from the Kashmir valley pursuing their education in Iran were shifted to the Army Wellness Centre, Jaisalmer, in Rajasthan from the Delhi airport on March 14-15.

Also read: COVID-19: 8 more test positive in J&K, one in Ladakh

Haseeb Bazaz, a student from Srinagar studying in the Tehran University, is in quarantine for the second month since COVID-19 outbreak started in Iran.

“Before our evacuation from Iran, I was in a self-quarantine in my hostel as prescribed by the university for almost a month. I was tested by the Indian Embassy in Tehran and my reports were all negative. In Rajasthan, we were tested again after 14 days. Despite negative test reports, the students were shifted to another quarantine centre. It seems an unending ordeal,” Bazaz told The Hindu.

Also read: Coping with a COVID-19 hotspot

He said he feared the “jailed life” away from our families is likely to take heavy toll on their mental health. “It has already started taking a toll on our mental status. We are scared to death. We talked to the head of the facility here. He told us due to the lockdown nothing can be done,” he added.

In Srinagar, scores of parents met Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P. K. Pole. “My son has run out of cash. He keep crying on the phone. It has become unbearable to watch their ordeal as mute spectators. We appeal to the J&K administration to help the stranded students and shift them to J&K,” Nazir Ahmad, a parent, said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 12:16:02 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/unending-ordeal-for-iran-returned-230-kashmiri-students-in-rajasthan-quarantine-centres/article31261975.ece

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