Reports of a sudden spike in Covid cases worldwide have made NRIs across Doaba wary of visiting their loved ones this winter.
NRIs are feeling apprehensive following Prime Minister Modi’s review of the Covid situation and warning against complacency at airports. They might have to rush back home if all their plans for a good time here go awry.
NRI Rajbinder Singh, who is currently in Jalandhar, said he plans to stay for a while. My return flight is scheduled for next month. Since I don’t want to get stuck here, I am monitoring Covid cases globally, in India and Punjab. It might be necessary for me to take a flight if everything does not remain under control.”
Lehmbar Singh Pabla, an NRI living in the US from Nawanshahr, was here to settle a property dispute. My case needs to be presented to the authorities a little longer. There is only one concern I have: if flights are halted due to the Covid surge, I could get stuck here. The family back home is also calling me every day to remind me to maintain caution.”
There are also some families who are expecting NRI relatives next month due to weddings and get-togethers. The flight from Canada for my sister and nephews has been booked for next month. It has been over three years since we last saw them. Ranbir Singh Tutt, a businessman, prayed that the new variant would not spread too widely.
Dr Hardeep Singh Deep, a retired professor of Government Medical College in Amritsar, advanced his trip to California after learning about Covid’s global resurfacing. He has booked his ticket for this week instead of next week in order to be with his son.
Apprehensive about getting caught up in travel restrictions, Dr Bhupinder Kaur arrived in Amritsar four days ago with her family. She said that if travel restrictions were introduced, she might have to stay here longer than planned. She works at Dayton Children’s Hospital in Ohio. During her visit to India, she was forced to cancel her trip due to Omicron and Delta variants.