A FORMER Inverkeithing woman who arrived in India amid the devastating coronavirus crisis says she has barricaded herself in her home out of fear for her life in the virus-stricken country.

Raveena Singi Reddy left Scotland on March 30 after living in the UK for 18 months on a student visa but in a short few weeks after arriving back in her home country, it has been brought to its knees because of a spike in COVID cases.

Like everyone else in West Fife, the engineering graduate had been living under a strict lockdown for several months and at first was "shocked" to see life had gone "back to normal" in her home city of Hyderabad, in southern India.

But, now with the health emergency at crisis point, even an upper middle-class family like Raveena's are fearful that there will be no help for treatment if they catch COVID.

"I thought everything must be OK here when I came out of the airport," Raveena, aged 25, explained.

"Everybody was going about their lives as normal, the roads were really busy and all non-essential shops were open.

"Even now, there has been no official lockdown in my State, Telangana, but a lot of people, including my family, are just staying at home.

"We are all very scared because of the hospital situation, even a middle-class family cannot get access to medical help. Only the richest of the rich will get facilities.

"Nobody is going to save you so it's a life-and-death situation if you go out – you're putting your life at stake.

"At least in Scotland I knew if I took ill I would get care, but not here."

Maharashtra tops the list of most coronavirus-affected States in India which borders Telangana. Ravenna said people had been trying to build a wall to stop residents from Maharashtra coming into her home State.

She continued: "It's already close to home, just last week a neighbour's husband died. The whole family got COVID and their son is still in hospital.

"The only thing that our State government has done is cancel board exams; all shops, restaurants etc are still open.

"The situation seem to be getting worse, you hear of people just dying in queues as they stand out in the sun trying to get a bed in a hospital.

"More oxygen is coming in now but there are still many deaths and the poorest are being left to die.

"The poor don't have a choice but to go out and work because if they don't, they won't eat."

Ravenna came to the UK in September 2019 to study for an MSc in Energy and Sustainability at the University of Southampton where she met her Scottish boyfriend, Lewis Farrar.

After graduating a year later, she moved to West Fife with Lewis and worked at Amazon's warehouse in Dunfermline while she looked for a job in the energy sector.

Despite interviews and a job offer, she didn't secure sponsorship and had to leave Scotland at the end of March.

Ravenna said: "When I saw that India was put on the UK's red list I just cried, there's just so much uncertainty and I don't know when I'll see my partner again.

"I don't know what will happen in these coming weeks but we're all extremely frightened."