Shortly after India began its nationwide lockdown on 25 March, a Bengaluru-based Airbnb host received a booking request on the homestay platform. A Kenyan couple needed accommodation for 15 days. The request was rejected. The issue wasn’t their nationality, the host insists. Instead, it was the fear that anybody could be a carrier of the novel coronavirus. The pandemic has already killed nearly 600 people in India and over 170,000 worldwide. “I can’t risk the lives of my housekeepers.”
As uncertainty around the pandemic continues to loom, this host has since paused his listings on Airbnb altogether.