Anxiety and depression are wreaking havoc on the mental health of the remaining local students who have been stuck in quarantine in a hotel in the Philippines for almost a year now.
Triggered by isolation and fear, the five Solomon Islands Government-sponsored students (SIG) are calling on the government to prioritize their repatriation flight as soon as possible.
Speaking on their behalf in a telephone interview from his quarantine room, a spokesperson, an aviation student Junior Aba, said the government planned to repatriate them this month. next month.
“If they move the repatriation flight again, it will cause another problem with our visa and that is what concerns us right now,” Aba said.
The five students have been in quarantine at the Regal Residence Hotel in Quezon City, Metro Manila, since March of last year.
Aba said she has met all of SIG’s mandatory Covid-19 requirements, which include three Covid-19 tests and full doses of vaccination.
âWe have fulfilled all the mandatory requirements required by SIG. Before moving to this hotel last year we did three Covid tests to prepare for the repatriation flight, after moving in we waited months and that’s where our visa expired.
âWe asked the National Scholarship Division (NSD) for a Covid-19 emergency allowance and they paid us, which helped us extend our visa. They told us they would repatriate us later, but this plan has been repeatedly moved and extended so far, âAba said.
He said they were then given a new requirement to get a full vaccination which they would comply with later.
âOne frustrating thing is that they promised to bring the vaccination to our doorstep, but this has also been delayed several times, so we have to collect our vaccines from the vaccination sites in the city.
“We are surprised to see that students and nationals of other countries have been repatriated to their homes, including those who have gone to Dubai, have returned home,” said Aba, who was only one year old to return home. complete his studies.
He said the recently reported positive Covid cases had been brought into the country by nationals returning from those countries.
Aba said he wastes time staying in a hotel that final year students should have used to complete their studies.
âAnother student and I were supposed to finish our studies, but due to a call from SIG to repatriate last year, we have no choice,â he said.
Since the repatriation flight has moved again, the students’ only hope rests on the Covid-19 emergency allowance.
“Now that they are extending our repatriation again, our only hope is that the government will grant us a Covid-19 allowance so that we can extend our visa for repatriation next month as they promised in the Talk-back Show. yesterday, âAba adds.
He said staying in quarantine for this long affected their mental health every day and that at one point a student came to show signs of mental instability.
âLocked in a room every day there are all kinds of things that can come to our mind, we are all affected mentally. One night one of the Solomon Islands students we are staying here was running and screaming during the night. We thought the student was possessed, but maybe it was a sign of great anxiety because of the long period of quarantine, âAba said.
Yesterday, the permanent secretary of the Department of Education, Dr Franco Rodie, said on a talk show that there are currently seven students from the Solomon Islands still living in the Philippines.
He said the government hopes to get them home before the end of February.
Dr Rodie said this was because the students still had health and quarantine requirements that needed to be addressed.
by Jared Koli