Edmonton couple stranded in Argentina during COVID-19 pandemic

EDMONTON — More than one million Canadians have returned home from countries around the world in recent weeks, but some are still stranded, including the parents of an Edmonton woman.

Michele Murphy’s parents, Al and Margaret Andreychuk, are currently quarantined in a hotel in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

They’ve been in Argentina since January, the couple had been travelling by bus when Canada first called people back, and have since been unable to get a flight home.

“I’m just concerned for their well-being. They’re getting more stressed out by the day, cause there’s not much for updates from Air Canada or the embassy,” said Murphy.

Argentina has reported nine times fewer COVID-19 cases than Canada, but that hasn’t eased the minds of anyone involved.

The couple had their phone stolen, their health insurance is expiring, and their Air Canada flight out of the country was cancelled.

Murphy has sent emails to the embassy, her MPs and Air Canada. She’s full of questions, but still has no concrete answers.

“All the waiting is tough on them. They’re worried about a possible hotel closure, a shortage of money, they’re afraid to go outside for fear of being exposed to the virus, and there’s police monitoring, so that’s another stresser,” said Murphy.

Canada has sent planes to bring people home from more than a dozen countries, but so far, Argentina isn’t one of them.

Murphy has been in touch with Global Affairs, who tell her they are working on a plan.

“I’d like there to be some kind of a deadline. If they possibly at least give a general one. Like is it going to be days, weeks, months?”

Murphy says she’s hoping for answers, so her parents can feel confident that they’ll be able to come home soon.

“I just don’t know what else I can really do,” said Murphy.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Sarah Plowman.