In October, 2014 the World Health Organisation declared Nigeria as Ebola free… but I guess our government does not believe them…
Just 3 days ago the Indian Government issued a new requirement that anyone travelling from the Ebola affected countries are supposed to carry a No-Ebola Certificate while entering India. So my mom had duly acquired the certificate from a doctor but i guess that wasn’t sufficient. So here is how the torture started… my mum boarded Etihad Airways from Lagos via Abu Dhabi to India yesterday… no issues at the Nigerian airport… on Arrival at Abu Dhabi, while screening her ticket the machine started beeping very loudly and immediately my mum was asked to step aside from everyone for questioning and this is when the discrimination started. Her passport was taken away and she was told to sit separately from everyone. This was done to everyone from Nigeria going to India. Their seats were also changed and they were made to sit in the extreme end of the flight. Everyone on the flight referred to them as “Ebola Suspects” ( but behaved more like “Terrorist Suspects”, not funny at all). The flight attendants wore gloves and masks while coming near them which was even restricted. They were served bare minimum different food before the rest of the passengers (not even the meal plans they had paid for). My mom who is diabetic and a high blood pressure patient was denied water and other beverages on several occasions on such a long journey… A separate disposal bag was used to clear the plates and glasses… in fact they were not even cleared for a while… Time and again they asked to stay away from everyone else to the extent that even a separate bus was deployed for the 10 of them from the aircraft to the airport on arrival in India.
In India, they were asked to step aside for medical examination. In this case I am all on for such procedures by the government since by identification of the virus at the root cause itself will help stop the virus from spreading in India but here is where the irony starts. They were made to wait for an hour after the plan landed and finally upon reaching the dispensary they get to know that the Doctor on call is asleep and the airport authorities were told not to wake him up. So in the end these people were not tested at all and were cleared through the immigration.. What the hell???? What was the point in the entire torture when the government wasn’t going to examine them at all???
I completely believe in our Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his reforms but then there should be some amount of check on whether the government authorities are compliant with these rules and regulations!!! I hope by writing this blog, my message is conveyed to the people travelling to India so that they know what they are in for and plus I am definitely going to try and get the authorities aware!!! Such kind of Ignorance is going to affect not only the persons travelling but also puts fellow Indian residents at risk!!! Just imagine if someone actually with the virus goes undetected……..