The plights of Kiwis stuck in South Africa who are running out of medication, money and accommodation have been laid bare in a letter to the Prime Minister.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Travel (Mfat) is working to see if six Qatar Airways flights from Johannesburg and Doha will be available to the 194 New Zealanders stuck there.
On Friday, Wellington man Prakash Mani delivered his letter to Jacinda Ardern asking the Government to urgently organise a mercy or charter flight from South Africa.
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Mani's wife, a New Zealand permanent resident, is trapped there and is about to run out of her breast cancer medication as Kiwis aren't eligible for the South African health system.
She flew there in late-January to be with her father who hasleukemia and was scheduled to fly back at the end of March.
As the global Covid-19 pandemic escalated and Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters implored travelling Kiwis to get home before it was too late, Mani's wife rebooked her flight but it was cancelled. Mani said she's been unable to get another one.
"She's running out of medication and there's no repatriation in sight. I'm really worried about her health."
Mani wrote to Ardern on behalf of his wife and other stranded Kiwis, including a nurse whose husband is stuck there, leaving her to care for their two young children and juggle her frontline health job.
Another family is more than $10,000 out of pocket as three flights they were booked on to get home have been cancelled while others are almost totally out of money, Mani said.
"There's some very sad and desperate situations
"People can't come home and they don't know when they will be able to."
Mani will release the letter publically next week after he's given the Government time to consider it.
Qatar Airways just announced it would operate six flights between Doha and Johannesburg between May 5 and 16.
Mfat said it's looking into whether these flights would be available for the 194 New Zealanders who've registered as wanting to leave.
Meanwhile it's continuing to "work hard on options" for repatriation, including a possible Government-organised charter flight, and what other routes back could open up.
On March 18, Peters told Kiwis overseas it was very likely they could be shut off very shortly.
"If you can get home, come home now."
Three mercy flights from India were the largest and most complex organised, but could only take 600 of the 1600 who expressed interest. On Thursday, Mfat said:
"The Government is not able to consider a wide range or large number of repatriation flights. However, in some specific circumstances, it has been possible to help New Zealanders return. These flights are complex to arrange and will not be possible in many situations."
South Africans stuck in New Zealand are also desperate to get home and in a video beg their government for assistance.
Mike Spencer, of Barberton, said he'd been stuck in New Zealand since the beginning of the lockdown and has run out of medication for his chronic condition.
"I've cancelled a surgery I was due for in Pretoria. We are broke. We don't know where we're going to go next. We need help please."