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'We didn’t bargain on this' – NZ citizen in India can't get home as travel ban lifts

As the ban on travellers from India lifts for citizens tonight, flights and spots in managed isolation and quarantine are looking thin on the ground in New Zealand as one citizen says it’s a “waiting game” to come home.

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Sujatha Selwyn, says she’s missing her son in NZ but cannot find flights or MIQ spots to come home. Source: 1 NEWS

India is one of four very high risk countries where only New Zealand citizens and their families are allowed back here.

India crossed a grim milestone today of 200,000 people lost to the coronavirus as a devastating surge of new infections tears through dense cities and rural areas alike and overwhelms health care systems on the brink of collapse, the Associated Press reports.

India's health ministry reported 3,293 daily Covid-19 deaths in the last 24 hours - For the past week, more than 2,000 Indians have died every day.

The Selwyn family. Source: 1 NEWS

The temporary ban on any travellers from India was announced on April 8, coming into force three days later.

India surpasses 200,000 deaths as coronavirus surge breaks health system

And as the ban lifts at midnight tonight, Sujatha Selwyn, stuck in India with her husband, says she can’t find any flights or spots in MIQ in order to return home.

The couple, along with their son who recently graduated from university, visited India last year for a break but the pandemic hit and they became stranded there.

Their son managed to get a chartered flight back to New Zealand in September last year but the couple stayed on amid an "uncertain" situation.

“We didn’t bargain on this, we didn’t think we would be stuck here for so long,” she told 1 NEWS.

Selwyn said she was looking to come home next month but there “was no MIQ. So it’s just a waiting game now,” she says.

Her search for flights has “not been easy,” she says, adding that finding them is “close to impossible”.

“The ban has been lifted but there are no flights,” she says.

"My son is the main factor, my son is there, I'm missing him very much," she says. 

It comes after Selwyn and her husband both tested positive for Covid-19 several weeks ago. While they have both recovered, she says her husband had to be hospitalised with the illness and was discharged on Monday night.

Selwyn says her sister-in-law is a doctor and was able to prescribe her steroids to aid her recovery.

India, Pakistan, Brazil and PNG deemed 'very high risk', travel to NZ restricted to citizens and immediate families

The pair migrated to New Zealand in 2002.

New Zealand has joined a group of nations giving financial support to India, taxpayers giving $1 million to the Red Cross for critical needs such as oxygen.