Samoan students stranded in Fiji
Two Samoan students stranded in Nadi say they have no means of returning home due to flight cancellations, a lack of money and border closures.
Romania Ng Lam Pose and Kailua Rogers attend the University of the South Pacific (U.S.P) in Fiji and were supposed to leave for Samoa on Friday afternoon.
But flights between Samoa and Fiji were suspended under state of emergency orders announced on Friday night.
The measures will take effect for 14 days.
Speaking to the Samoa Observer, the students said they were not informed of their flight cancellations and they’re stuck in Nadi with little money.
“Me and this other student came on a five-hour bus drive on Thursday afternoon from Suva and arrived in Nadi unaware of our flight cancellation,” Ms. Kailua said.
“We were devastated and scared as we do not have much money on us and we really just want to come home due to everything that is happening.”
“We tried getting help from Fiji Airways and they said it is not their fault as it’s not them it’s the government closing their borders. This was on Friday morning.”
According to Ms. Pose, they received an email from the Samoan Consul saying that the Government would not evacuate them due to resource constraints.
They are currently living at the Fiji Gateway Hotel in Nadi waiting for another flight.
Other Samoan students and their families are also in the same hotel facing a similar experience and wondering what is to happen next.
Many have sought help from their families in Samoa and received some money which they believe is still not enough for food.
According to Ms. Pose, the hotel food is expensive and they don’t know the locations of the supermarkets to get cheaper food.
Fiji authorities on Thursday confirmed the country’s latest case of the coronavirus. The announcement, the students said, only adds to their anxiety and reluctance to leave their hotel.
They have paid $189 for a room to accommodate them until Sunday.
The students have urged for help as they wish to return home as soon as possible.
“Other students are still in Suva also wanting to come back, but don’t know what to do because apparently all flights have been cancelled until the end of May,” Ms. Kailua said.
“We’re scared. Me and this other student are staying at this other hotel with not much money on hand and don’t know what to do.”
"I would want nothing more but to be at home with my family, I’ve paid for my flight all I want is to come home.”
According to the two students, they have undergone medical check-ups ready to fly to Samoa.
Attempts to get a comment from Fiji Airways were unsuccessful.