Romford man fears diabetic dad will not make rescue flight home
- Credit: PA
A man whose ill father has been stranded in Bangladesh because of the pandemic has said he fears he will not make the repatriation flight because of the local lockdown.
Afzal Rahman, from Romford, said his father Shafiqur, who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure and epilepsy, is running “dangerously low” on medication.
Mr Rahman said his father, who is 66, travelled to Sylhet, in the country’s north-east, in February, to visit family, before his return flight was cancelled earlier this month.
He has a spot on one of the four new government-chartered flights from Bangladesh after the family strained their finances to pay the £600 fee after their restaurant business closed down because of coronavirus.
But Mr Rahman, 30, said his father will only get 24 hours’ notice of what flight he is on and is concerned the lockdown will make it difficult to get to the airport in time to board the rescue flight.
You may also want to watch:
Mr Rahman told the PA news agency: “He has been staying with his brothers in Bangladesh but his wife - my mum - and children are here at home in the UK.
“We have been worried sick. He is running dangerously low on medication and we need him back in the UK so he can get his prescriptions.
- 1 Woman dies after car crash near Upminster
- 2 Romford’s M&S staff go viral with Thriller dance TikTok video
- 3 Brentwood attack: CCTV appeal after man repeatedly kicked in head
- 4 How Romford are you? Test yourself with our quiz
- 5 Disruptions to watch out for in and around Havering next week
- 6 New social housing allocation system for Havering approved
- 7 Still no progress on plans for new health hub at St George's Hospital site
- 8 Hundreds arrested after police crackdown on county lines
- 9 Family 'sleeps with one ear open' after repeated flooding in heavy rain
- 10 Consultations open on rolling out school streets to 12 new sites
“We still don’t know what date he will leave as they let you know 24 hours before. On the booking form they did not take details of his medical needs although they did ask if he needs special assistance - which he doesn’t.
“We are very worried about whether we will be able to arrange transport to the airport under the lockdown.
“The flight cost £600, which is another burden for us as our restaurant business has had to close because of coronavirus. It’s a very difficult financial situation.
“Finally, the flights are now sold out and I have other relatives who are still stranded. It’s really important they put more on as soon as possible.”
Mr Rahman said his father moved to the UK in the 1960s and worked in Indian restaurants before setting up his own.
The government has said hundreds of Britons stuck in Bangladesh will be repatriated after it chartered four flights as part of a new push to rescue more than 7,000 passengers from south Asia.
Those deemed most at risk from coronavirus, such as people with existing health conditions and the elderly, will be given priority, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said.
The Bangladesh operation comes after the government announced 17 chartered flights from India and 10 from Pakistan, expected to bring home around 4,000 and 2,500 passengers respectively.
The FCO said it has so far brought back more than 7,300 people on 35 flights from 13 countries.
However, tens of thousands of Britons remain unable to get home from countries around the world after the pandemic severed commercial routes, including some still stuck in Peru after being stopped from accessing the UK’s final rescue flight from the country.