‘I am trapped’: Federal travel restrictions leave Winnipeg man stranded in India

WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg man says federal travel restrictions in Canada have left him trapped in India.

In January, Satinder Singh travelled to Ludhiana, Punjab in India to take care of his mother who had been suffering from terminal liver cancer.

Singh said his mother has since died, and he is now trying to return to his home and family in Winnipeg, Manitoba – but due to federal travel restrictions, he’s been grounded.

“Even if you want to spend the money, the flights are not available,” Singh told CTV News Winnipeg.

As of April 22, the federal government suspended all flights into Canada from India and Pakistan for 30 days. Those coming into the country from India or Pakistan through an indirect flight must have a negative COVID-19 test from a third country before entering Canada.

Singh said he is not able to take an indirect flight to Canada, leaving him to wait until his home country lifts its travel restrictions.

“I’m not certain what is going to happen. I wanted to come back to Winnipeg, see my family, start my work again,” he said.

“I am trapped – I’m not going outside. I am confined in my house only because I don’t want to interact with people because of the situation.”

COVID-19 cases and deaths in India have been rising since February – with death counts above 3,000 for the past 10 days.

Images of patients lying on stretchers outside hospitals running short on critical oxygen, and crematoriums swamped with bodies, have been aired on Indian television.

Singh said the area where he is currently living with his father – a city about 280 kilometres from Delhi –is not as bad as he has seen on television.

Singh said he has reached out to his Winnipeg MP and the federal government for help and direction. As of Friday, Singh said he has not heard back.

CTV News Winnipeg has reached out to Global Affairs Canada for comment.

-With files from CTV’s Jon Hendricks and The Associated Press. 

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