As many as 74 students from Pune district, who had been stranded in Kota, Rajasthan since the beginning of the nationwide lockdown, were brought back to Pune in four Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) buses late on Friday night. All students were sent in home quarantine as per the government rule.
The students were screened for COVID-19 symptoms upon reaching Swargate depot. They were asked to stay in home quarantine for 14 days, an official said.
A total of 1,780 students from various parts of Maharashtra had been stuck in Kota, where they were taking coaching for various entrance examinations from engineering and medical colleges.
“A total of 74 students and 10 drivers were screened by PMC medical staff. None of them had any symptoms of COVID-19. They were stamped with home quarantine and sent home with their parents. The students were from various parts of the city and other towns in the interior of the district,” said Yamini Joshi, divisional controller, MSRTC.
Officials said a total of 70 buses from Dhule depot of MSRTC had been sent to Kota three days ago. To ensure social distancing, each bus carried only 25 or less students.
Om Borate of Rajgurunagar, who was in Kota preparing for engineering entrance exams, said, “We were eagerly waiting for the buses to arrive and take us back to Pune. It took us over 24 hours to reach Swargate. All four buses reached by 12.30 am. We were served food and water on the journey. The drivers were very helpful.”
Another student Jai Bhosale from Chikhli recounted his experience of being stranded in far-off area amid the lockdown. “Students of only three states were stranded. We wanted to return, but there was no option available. If everything goes well after lockdown, we will go back to complete the coaching,” said Bhosale.
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