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May 9, 2021

British-Pakistani woman’s ordeal at London’s quarantine hotel

LONDON: A British-Pakistani woman, who arrived from Pakistan a week ago, has complained that quarantine hotel where she is staying hasn’t provided her a fridge for keeping essential medicines.

Kiran Suman arrived from Islamabad with her husband Khurram Arif and children Nehan Malik, 7, and Ayana Malik, 3, and checked in Millennium Hotel Gloucester Kensington in West London. She had already informed Corporate Travel Management (CTM) and the hotel management that she was a type-1 diabetic and her son is a Special Needs Child (SEN) so she should be given a fridge to store life-dependent medicines.

She told this correspondent that the hotel management refused to give her a suitable fridge to store medicines, and served the family bacon rolls despite the fact that the family had requested halal or veg food. Her health deteriorated and a doctor visited her twice, who also requested the hotel to give her a fridge for keeping medicines but the hotel refused saying it’s not their duty to provide a fridge for keeping medicines. She asked the hotel for plain cheese sandwiches for her special needs child son who is very fussy about food but the hotel refused.

She said: “I then found out that the hot dogs were not halal. On arrival I was told that all food will be halal and none of the food will contain alcohol. I then ordered food from outside and paid for it. The hotel then again sent us ‘haram’ food for dinner. They gave us only three meals for four people but charged for full meals”.

She said the hotel knew that her child was with special needs and was informed about the food but the hotel didn’t help and she has been ordering food from outside every day costing her £30 extra for her son’s food.

“We spent £2800 on the hotel quarantine but we don’t even get the basic food. My sugar level has gone up to a dangerous level because the hotel keeps giving me white bread and we have no option but to eat”.

Kiran Suman called the CTM and requested to be shifted to another hotel where she could store her medicines but CTM didn’t return her call in a week.

“It’s been a week and I cannot control my sugar level. Because of it I am getting very bad headaches and shivers. My body starts shivering at 6pm due to lack of food. I can’t even snack on crisps or biscuits due to being diabetic and my sugar level is already not in normal range. It is causing a lot of stress for me”. She has three more days to stay at the hotel and she says it’s been a nightmare for her and she cannot bear it.

Barrister Rashid Ahmed, who has challenged the UK government’s Red-Listing of Pakistan, said families which have been denied essential medical aid have a strong legal case not only against the CTM but also against the private hotels which have been turned into quarantine centres. He said hundreds of travellers from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, are queuing up to launch cases for compensation at the UK courts. Barrister Rashid Ahmed said it was a travesty that the UK government charged people huge amounts of money, forced them into making these payments and failed to deliver on the promises it made and, dangerously, failed to ensure suitable medical facilities for disabled children and elderly in need of medical aid. On the other hand, a hotel spokesman refused to comment in this connection.