As the deadly virus the world is all too familiar with continues to show its devastating hand in India, one Kiwi couple is trying to figure out how to get out.
Tony and Jan Bellew, originally from Southland, have been living there for the past two years, working as teachers at the International School of Hyderabad, in southern India.
Theirs is a unique and privileged position, Tony Bellew says, as the school is located at a scientific research institute complete with open spaces, lakes, wildlife and mango trees.
"Basically we live on a big farm with lots of open space. Our living conditions are very comfortable and we are well connected virtually.
"I bike most days and it is easy for me to do a 20km to 30km loop inside the institute. It's always an interesting ride with lots of different wildlife - boars, monkeys, jungle cats and [mongooses]."
Because of where they live, they have been saved from the harrowing situation that seems to be getting worse in bigger centres such as Delhi and Mumbai.
The country's health system is crippling under the weight of the virus, with hospitals running out of oxygen supplies and floor space to even care and treat those who arrive desperate for help.
'We don't go out...if we do, we double mask'
"We don't go out into the community now. If we do, we double mask. But we have only done that to get our vaccinations."
The couple has received both shots of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Again, they count themselves lucky as the vaccine has started to run out in some states.
They were fortunate in that their local hospital system had managed to hang on "by the skin of its teeth", he said.
"We know, from our own experience, that vaccinations are hard to come by. It was easy for us to source our first round of the AstraZeneca, but much more difficult to access our second round shots this week."
On Friday, Indian health authorities reported 3498 deaths in 24 hours, taking the death toll total to 208,330 victims.
Up to 386,452 new positive cases of Covid-19 were reported in India on that day resulting in a staggering 18.7 million cases since the pandemic started.
That heartbreaking figure is second only to the US, which has recorded 32.3 million cases.
"There was no evidence of dead bodies on gurneys that you see on BBC and CNN and we are not assaulted by the aroma of jasmine that is associated with funeral pyres.
"Nevertheless it is stressful."
The school they teach at has this week officially called on overseas-hired teachers to return to their home countries.
"That has left my wife Jan and I scrambling to rebook flights via Dubai. There's just one small problem - you can no longer fly from Hyderabad to Dubai."
A temporary ban on flights from India to New Zealand was announced on April 11. It was lifted on Wednesday - but only to Kiwi citizens and their immediate family members.
The issue now, however, is that other countries are imposing temporary bans on flights from India - including the United Arab Emirates, Australia and now the US in a bid to keep Covid-19 out.
The Bellews are now looking at what Tony dubbed "lily-padding" options - flying from one place to another in order to secure a flight home to New Zealand.
Finding a way out of India - 'we are not holding our breath'
So far, their option is to wait until flights to Dubai are reinstated and they are able to get on a plane home in two weeks.
"[We] are not holding our breath as we do not think we will be able to get out of India. We are trying to think laterally.
"It's not so much that it is a hardship staying here. It's the fact that we don't get to see our elderly parents and the rest of our families.
"We have already managed to get back once or twice a year without fail. That has taken a bit of an emotional toll on us."
Bellew said being away from New Zealand allowed them to see things from a different perspective.
"The admiration for [PM] Jacinda Ardern among people I am in contact with throughout the world is sky-high.
"You realise how capable our Government is and how important it is that they have made intelligent, science-based decisions."