NATION

Home Is Where The Heart Is For Wuhan Uni Student Evacuee

According to a situation report by the Fijian Embassy in China, nine other Fijian nationals have returned home from China on Friday.
23 Feb 2020 12:55
Home Is Where The Heart Is For Wuhan Uni Student Evacuee
Wuhan University student, Sylvia Nandani (second from left) with family members at the Nadi International Airport on February 21, 2020. Photo: Mereleki Nai

Sylvia Nandani, one of the two Fijians studying at the Wuhan University in Hubei Province in China, is happy and relieved to be back home with her parents.

Ms Nandani was welcomed by her family on Friday at the Nadi International Airport.

She was among the 30 Pacific islanders evacuated to New Zealand amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan City earlier this month.

The 25-year-old and fellow Fijian, Joe Racaca, were isolated for 14 days at the Whangaparaoa Military Training Facility in Auckland.

“The New Zealand government took good care of us,” she said.

“The food, the service and hospitality. They took care of everything. There were no complaints from all sides.

“It was the most happiest and satisfying moment for me and Joe when we left Wuhan because we really wanted to get out of that place.

“So when we actually boarded the flight, we knew we are actually going home and this is it.

“Then leaving Auckland, it was such a good feeling to be back home and I’m so happy to finally be back in Fiji.”

Ms Nandani said the only thing she feared back in Wuhan was catching the virus and the thought that there would be no way for her to return home and meet her parents.

“The only thing that was going on in my mind was like, how can I just get out of here and I just wanted to be at home because everything was getting so hard and the only fear we had was, what if we ended up catching the virus somehow.”

She said being alone in university when Wuhan was on lockdown created a lot of thoughts in her mind.

“There were other Fijians in Wuhan, but they were not with me and I was alone at that university,” Ms Nandani said.

“Everything was shutting down, transportation stopped so there was the fear of how I would get back home. What if something happens to me?”

Her father, Rakesh Reddy, said his family did not give up praying for their eldest daughter to return home safe and in good health.

“It was with much joy that we welcome my eldest and only daughter, who came in good health and was safe,” Mr Reddy said.

“After this we will go to the temple and offer praise and thanks to God.”

Nine other Fijian students return home

According to a situation report by the Fijian Embassy in China, nine other Fijian nationals have returned home from China on Friday.

The statement said: “There were nine Fijian nationals who returned to Fiji via Hong Kong and touched down at Nadi on Friday.

“There were seven students from Xiamen, one private student from Kunming and one from Shenzhen in Guangdong.”

The students who returned on Friday are Naibuka Fong, Sainivalati Kaunisela, Salome Senivuga, Mary Ann Lu, Masi Waqavesi, William Uluibau, Ann Mari Dass, Timaleti Koroisau and Maggie Krishna.

All provincial reports from student reps stated that all Fijian students were well and in good health.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

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