Speaking exclusively to this paper via an online interview on Sunday, local students who wanted their identities withheld stated most of them are now living in fear.
They expressed they felt neglected after government failed to respond on time to their repatriation request.
The students said their appeal to return was made six months ago in April which has since fallen on deaf ears.
The students expressed; “had the government listen to our request this situation would not happen.”
The students claimed its likely more local students could be infected as testing continues.
The six students are out of 130 students who have undergone three mandatory COVID testing before boarding their flights later this month.
Others are still waiting for their test results to be released.
Three repatriation flights are have been planned to bring back the students.
Asked about if the infected students were kept in hospitals, they said they are not admitted to any hospitals, as it is too expensive for the students to afford.
"The infected students are kept in their residents," the students confirmed.
"We keep their covid-19 status hidden from their landlords for the fear that the landlord might kick them out if they find out about their covid-19 positive status," the students said.
The students fear that those infected will face discrimination from their landlords in the coming days.
"The message now is that we want to come back home," the concerned students said.
With close to 400 local students currently studying in Philippines, the students said many are at risk of contracting the deadly virus if they are not repatriated soon.
Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare on Sunday when announcing to the nation the situation affecting the students said, the government is doing all it can to support the students.
Parents of concerned students have been informed.
PM said the repatriation flights will continue as schedule.
By WILSON SAENI
Auki News Bureau