When the COVID-19 pandemic reached India on 25 March, the central government issued on a country-wide lockdown and closed the airspace. More than 1.3 billion people were ordered to stay at home, or shelter in place. The lockdown also affected many foreign travelers, including a few hundred Swiss citizens stranded in the far reaches of the Indian sub-continent.
In normal times, I lead the swissnex India team in Bangalore. My team collaborates with ETH Zurich and other universities to strengthen academic exchange, student mobility, and support startups. At the same time, I am also responsible for heading the Consulate General of Switzerland to Southern India, which is normally focused on representing Swiss interests through Public Diplomacy.