Bahrainis Stranded in Mashhad: No Clean Clothes, Crowded Hotels and Penniless People
2020-03-02 - 8:26 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Bahrainis stranded in the Iranian city of Mashhad are disappointed and frustrated. 1,300 Bahrainis are stuck there, not knowing what awaits them, or how to return to Bahrain or when. "We are in good health, but our situation is no longer good. We are in a confusing situation and we don't know what to do," they told Bahrain Mirror.
Some have run out of money and some have run out of medications, which they took during the period of their trip. Some elderly and others who have chronic diseases and need to purchase medication. Some Bahrainis have obligations and responsibilities to fulfill in Bahrain. Some spouses left their children in Bahrain for a trip that was supposed to last for one week. Some have become a burden on the hotel which hosted new numbers of visitors. Owners of religious tour groups had to keep the visitors in the same hotel and had to pay from their own pockets, based on their ethical obligation, while others transferred the visitors to cheap hotels.
This is the situation of Bahrainis who are stranded in Mashhad waiting to return to Bahrain as other countries have done; they sent private planes to evacuate their citizens as soon as Iran announced the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that it has begun implementing an evacuation plan for Bahraini nationals in Iran including screening and quarantine procedures, in response to the outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) across Iranian cities. The Ministry called on all Bahraini citizens currently in Iran to record their details by calling a special hotline. The religious tour group guides called to record the names of all the visitors, but nothing happened to the moment of writing this report. "No action has been taken on the ground yet, wait for our call," was the answer Bahrainis received.
One of the Bahrainis stuck in Mashhad who was on a religious trip said "the lack of food has become clear. The are not blamed as they have accommodated more than 100 Bahrainis, which is beyond their capacity." "Hotels are refusing to wash our dirty clothes, fearing that an infected person among us would transfer the virus. We have run out of clean clothes due to the long period we remained in the city of Mashhad."
"The situation is very difficult. No one thought that we would remain this long period away from our families. None has taken into consideration, on the financial level, having to stay this long. Some are penniless and have to sleep at Imam Rida Shrine due to their inability to rent a place of accommodation," said one of the Bahraini females stranded in Iran.