25 October, 2020

Wuhan To Kochi: An Indian Medical Student's Great Escape From Epicentre Of Coronavirus

A seven-hour high-speed train journey and then the flight to Calcutta, every minute was heart-stopping. Back in Kerala, then the frustration of isolation

Wuhan To Kochi: An Indian Medical Student's Great Escape From Epicentre Of Coronavirus
outlookindia.com
2020-03-06T12:25:48+05:30

Ahead of a total lockdown on January 23—some 10 days into their semester break—a group of Indian medical students engineered a daring escape from Wuhan. Within a fast-closing window before the authorities suspended all public transport, they navigated the epicentre of the novel coronavirus outbreak to make the 7-hour high-speed rail journey to Kunming, from where they took a flight to Calcutta.

Not until the flight took off did Antarah (name changed) allow herself relief. “It was a tense few hours of waiting in the train and then in the airport terminal. We had tickets, but didn’t know if we would be sent back,” the third-year medical student says. She had been content to spend the break in her “neat and safe second home”, but the uncertainty convinced her of the need to go home to her parents.

Though Antarah didn’t exhibit any symptoms and cleared the airport screenings in Calcutta and Kochi, she followed public health guidelines for travellers from China and reported to the health centre near her home in Thrissur...

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