Coronavirus outbreak: More than a month in isolation, yet no end in sight

Updated: Apr 09, 2020, 07:58 IST | Chetna Sadadekar | Mumbai

Despite testing negative for COVID-19 twice and staying in quarantine for almost one month, a 17-year-old from Mumbai who was brought back from Italy, is still waiting for officials to give her the green signal to go home

Tanvi Dandekar
Tanvi Dandekar

Tanvi Dandekar — a 17-year-old from Mulund is one of the students who were brought back from Rome via a special flight by the central government. Having been in quarantine since March 22, which officially ended on April 6, at an Indo-Tibetan Border Police camp on the outskirts of Delhi and tested negative twice (once in Italy and now at the camp) she awaits for her long stay to end.

Tanvi was in Italy for an exchange programme and stayed with an Italian family to learn the local culture. Recollecting her journey, she said, "I was informed on March 10 that my programme had been cut short and that we had to leave for India on March 12. But on reaching.

Rome airport, I was told to submit a medical certificate stating I am COVID-19 negative. So the Indian Embassy officials took over and got us tested and later we were kept in quarantine in a hotel near the airport."

She continued, "On March 21, our test results came out negative and I breathed a sigh of relief. On March 21, we took off from Italy and landed in Delhi the next day. On landing, I thought we would be flown separately from Delhi to our respective cities. However, our plane was parked in an isolated corner and we were taken to the outskirts, where I learnt that my quarantine period was extended."

She further added that at the ITBP camp at Chhawla, it's not just her, but hundreds of students including four from Mumbai whom she met at the camp and are waiting for the isolation period to end. "On April 4, they took my samples and the result came out on April 6 stating that I am COVID-19 negative. So I asked if I would go home, but I got no answer as one person at the facility tested positive. This is why I fear to stay here as the days pass. Because we might be considered to have come in contact with the patient which will increase our stay," she said.

Talking to mid-day, her father, Dhananjay Dandekar said, "When she first told us she is coming to India, she said that she would isolate herself inside a room as she knew the gravity of the situation. But our hopes of seeing her fizzled out, first after her flight in Rome got delayed, and later when she was taken to Delhi. She spoke to us and assured of her well being. But now that her quarantine period has ended and she has tested negative, we want to see her soon. But how are we supposed to get her back?"

Mulund MP Manoj Kotak, said, "I will check with the authorities about her status and see what can be done in such a case."

Day in March that Tanvi Dandekar arrived in India

No. of Mumbaikars whom Tanvi met at ITBP camp in Chhawla

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