North Somerset couple stuck in India after recovering from Covid-19
PUBLISHED: 12:00 31 March 2020
The family of a North Somerset couple who contracted coronavirus in India are campaigning for them to come home now they have recovered.
Nairn, aged 76, and Elizabeth Lawson, aged 75, tested positive for Covid-19 while travelling in Kerala.
Elizabeth and Nairn, who has underlying health conditions, travelled to India on March 6 when they were told it was safe to do so after seeking travel advice.
The couple, of Portbury, caught the virus from a fellow holidaymaker in their group who was taken ill with flu-like symptoms.
He was tested for coronavirus, but the results came back negative, so the couple were looking forward to coming home.
As they were preparing to board the plane to return home on March 15, their flight was stopped by officials who said the man who had fallen ill before had actually tested positive for the virus.
The couple, along with the rest of their group, were quarantined in a medical facility.
The pair described the facility as filthy, with rats and blood on the sink.
Following a test on March 24, their results came back as negative and they have now been moved into a ‘nice’ hotel.
Their daughter, Joanne Chilcott said: “My dad had open-heart surgery last year. He has been amazing since then, that’s why they were able to go on the holiday.
“They’re in a hotel somewhere in Kerala and they can see water, the stars and the sunshine so things are looking up.
“There’s still some uncertainty and they’re worried about the other people who have tested positive again, but they have been moved to a private hospital and the conditions are much better. “Mum and dad have been getting help to get the medicines they need, and they have been given phones with local sim cards so we can speak to them and see them on WhatsApp.
“The government said they need to be in quarantine for 28 days. We’re not sure if that’s legally binding whether they have to wait for all their party to be clear for 28 days. It’s a waiting game.”
MP for North Somerset Dr Liam Fox had described their situation as ‘distressing’.
He said: “Given the total lockdown in India it is not clear what the authorities intend to do but every effort will be made to shorten the terrible ordeal they are enduring at least in part due to utter inefficiency on behalf of the Indian authorities.”
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