A group of South African youths stranded in Peru claim their pleas to return home are falling on deaf ears.
The 14 youngsters are among thousands of foreigners stuck in the South American country, reports Zululand Observer.
Two weeks ago, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra declared a total quarantine of 15 days, halting all air and land transportation after 150 coronavirus cases were confirmed.
The infection rate has since increased to close to 400, and five deaths have been confirmed.
22-year-old Courtney Taite of Westbrook in northern KwaZulu-Natal said she is in Peru volunteering as a teacher. Since the global outbreak of the coronavirus, borders and international flights have been restricted, making it almost impossible for the volunteers to return to their families.
Taite said the South African embassy in Peru appears to not take the matter seriously enough, adding further frustration.
“When the lockdown was announced, we travelled to the nearest city with an international airport. About 70 of us are staying at a hostel and most of the people are from the UK.
“The SA embassy told us this week that they do not know how to get us back into the country.
“This is the only embassy that we have to contact via WhatsApp. While we are waiting for feedback from them, they instead share supposedly funny memes making light of the coronavirus. This is not a funny situation and is unprofessional.”
Another South African citizen, Andre Duma of Durban, is also in lockdown in his hotel room in Peru. Despite the challenging situation, he turned the experience into a romantic one by proposing to his girlfriend.
“I am stuck in a hotel in the heart of Lima. I am with my beautiful fiancée though, and I think that is the upside of this mess.”