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Saturday May 08 2021

Pakistani woman claims UK quarantine hotel refused to provide fridge to store diabetes medicine

LONDON: A British Pakistani mother, who is diabetic, has claimed her quarantine hotel refused to provide a suitable refrigerator to store her essential medicine after arriving from Pakistan a week ago.

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

She told this correspondent that the hotel management refused to give her a suitable fridge to store her medicine, and allegedly served the family bacon rolls despite the family having requested halal or vegetarian food.

Her health deteriorated and she was visited by a medic twice, who also reportedly requested the hotel to provide her with a fridge for the medication but, according to her, the hotel refused saying it was not their duty to provide a fridge for medication.

She asked the hotel for plain cheese sandwiches for her special needs son, who is very fussy with food, but the hotel refused that as well.

She said: “I then found out that the dinner hot dogs were not halal. On arrival I was told 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 between four people but charged in full.”

She has been ordering food from outside every day for her son costing her £30 extra. “We spent £2,800 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 [it].”

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

“It’s been a week and I cannot get my sugar levels in control. Because of it I am getting very bad headaches and shivers. My body starts shivering when it gets to 6pm due to the lack of food. I can’t even snack on crisps or biscuits due to being diabetic and my sugar levels are already not in range. It is causing a lot of stress for me.”

Suman has three more days to stay at the hotel and she says it’s been a nightmare for her and she cannot wait for the ordeal to be over.

Barrister Rashid Ahmed, who has challenged the UK government’s red-listing of Pakistan, said that families who 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. Ahmed said it was a “travesty” that the UK government charged people large 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.

A hotel spokesman refused to comment.