9 UK returnees escape quarantine in Sylhet

Our Correspondent

23 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

SYLHET: Nine UK-returnees of a family disappeared from a hotel in the city that has been converted to an institutional quarantine centre, on Sunday.

The nine individuals were identified as Abdul Malik, 46, Tamima Akter, 9, Runa Akter, 44, Taiyeba Akter, 11, Rahima Begum, 43, Rubaba Akter, 43, Radia Akter, 11, Tahmid Chowdhury, 4 and Sayema Begum, 18.

The hotel authorities informed that around 2:00 pm on Sunday, they discovered that the nine individuals of room No. 203 and 603 of the hotel had ‘disappeared’.

When contacted over the phone, they said they had gone home to visit their dying family member, according to hotel authorities.

They told the hotel authority that they would return, but they did not return till the evening.

However, they returned to the hotel after 12 hours.

Additional Deputy Commissioner (Media) of Sylhet Metropolitan Police BM Ashrafullah Taher said they were investigating how such a large group could have fled when 3 police members were on duty at the hotel.

Action will be taken if any negligence is found on the part of police or the hotel authority, the ADC said.

Britannia Hotel manager Kawsar Khan said nine immigrants started their quarantine at the hotel on March 18, and it was supposed to end on March 26 after completion of necessary tests.

On March 18, 152 UK returnees landed at the Sylhet Osmani International Airport by BG-202 flight of Biman. Of them, 147 were sent to 10 residential hotels in Sylhet following the government’s directive and under the supervision of army officers and police. Thirty-five were sent to the Britannia Hotel in the city’s Ambarkhan area.

As it has emerged that the highly contagious UK variant of Coronavirus is already here, the government made institutional quarantine mandatory for all UK returnees from January 1, 2021. But the incident shows the trouble they have been facing in ensuring this.