‘The 2019 Plague” Day 224
MANILA, Philippines — European tourist Roman Trofimov — who was forced to make a home out of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) for over three months — is finally flying back to his home country Estonia.
“With the help of God and thanks to all people who supported me in this difficult time, I am going home now!!! My flight will land in Tallinn on July 8th at 13:20 (1:20 p.m.)! Thanks for sharing my story with the world. Good advice you give me and kind words of support. We made it people!” Roman capped his 110-day stay at the Manila airport beginning March 20.
In a dramatic unfolding of events compared to the plot of the Tom Hanks movie “The Terminal,” where a European tourist took up temporary residence in an American airport after circumstantially being stranded, Roman found himself in the crossfire of travel restrictions due to the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.
Through a viral post last Friday, he appealed for help from local and international media who have since picked up his story in order to aid his repatriation.
“I am European from Estonia held in Manila International Airport for more than 100 days need any help getting out of here. I arrived in Manila on March 20th and been denied entry, the airline who flew me in, AirAsia took my passport and stopped operations that same day I am not allowed to fly out…I am a person with disability, my health is getting worse because of malnutrition, lack of sun and fresh air.”
Prior to returning home, Roman had been staying at the departures area and even slept on the floor of the Philippines’ busiest airport.
He had been living off donations of food and hygiene products from airport staff.