LONDON: Desperate British Pakistani travelers, quarantined at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel near Heathrow Airport, protested the lack of facilities, especially the timely provision of food during peak hours.
They gathered at the site set aside for the fresh air, complaining about the non-provision of meals at the time of Sehri and Iftar as well as not being able to have three meals a day as guaranteed. Hasnain Sheikh, who spoke on behalf of approximately 19 Pakistani families, described the dire situation at the hotel in a video message. “It is a fundamental human rights issue. People did not receive food for the three meals that were contractually supposed to be provided to families. The food that was delivered was not on time. In addition, we are in the middle of the holy month of Ramazan. There are people who fasted without receiving any food at all, ”lamented Shiekh. He regretted that the children in the quarantine center were given cold food while others also complained of food poisoning.
Several other issues were highlighted by other Pakistanis who complained about several issues, reflecting the inefficient management of the hotel. Sheikh said the purpose of making the video was to draw the attention of UK government authorities to the conditions of returning travelers, which he said is unacceptable. People staying in the quarantine facilities paid a significant sum for their living conditions in quarantine for 10 days, he added.
Another spokesperson for the quarantined families, Ghulam Sayyadain, said the hotel management made many promises to the families but so far failed to provide the basics – food and water – and also neglected the essentials. children’s needs. “Other promises and assurances are given through hotel security, but our plea must be heard. It is a human rights crisis and I hope the government pays attention to it, ”he lamented, highlighting the suffering of Pakistanis quarantined at the center.
Describing the dire conditions since arriving with other Pakistani families, Sayyadain said the problem was quite serious as Muslims wait for the holy month of Ramazan all year round.
Abdullah Inayat, who traveled from Lahore with his family of five, including three children, complained about the poor quality of meals provided to residents. Her three-year-old son suffered food poisoning after eating a meal at the center. He said, “My family was forced to eat cold food and was not facilitated at all.”
A family of five, living in a room in another London establishment, told Geo.tv that it was very difficult for them to live in a cramped room. “We are crammed into a room like animals. We paid over £ 3,500 just for the quarantine and were deprived of even basic facilities. For a family of five, living in a medium-sized room is unhygienic and there are dangers. at [our] health, ”said one of Inayat’s family.
The UK government has introduced new quarantine measures for international travelers in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19, with heavy penalties for those who fail to comply. From February 15, any UK resident returning to the UK after visiting a country on the travel ban “red list” will need to purchase a quarantine package.
On the other hand, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs said: “Hotels providing managed quarantine facilities are able to meet the needs of the vast majority of people and are obligated to provide guests with three meals a day, access to WIFI, well-being. and health support. “
Pakistan was added to the list on April 2. Reservations are made through a dedicated online portal and include government assigned transportation, food and beverages, government approved accommodation, safety, wellness, and testing. The fee for a single adult is £ 1750.
Under the new rules, all arrivals at English ports must complete two mandatory COVID-19 tests, on days 2 and 8 of their 10-day quarantine. Anyone breaking the quarantine rules on arrival can face stiff fines ranging from £ 5,000 to £ 10,000.