Story By: Juan Fenandez Mayes, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This Spanish family stranded on a tiny Philippine island have said they feel “terrified” after the only doctor on the island contracted coronavirus and “they are kicking them out of the hotel”.
The family posted an emergency message on 29th March where Spanish father Alvaro Lorenzana, his wife Vera and their daughter India, 3, are seen asking for urgent help feeling “terrified” of being forced out on the street with “nowhere to go”.
Local media report the family were on holiday on the small island of Boracay in the Philippines when they became stranded after the worsening of COVID-19 pandemic.
Lorenzana says: “We have been here for 40 days and we are trapped on this island. We waited as long as possible to send an urgent message because we understood that there were other priorities in Spain.
“There is a problem here, and that is the coronavirus has spread here and this island is only seven kilometres (four miles) long and the person to contract the coronavirus was the doctor.
“There is only one doctor’s office on this island. The doctor has entered quarantine and of course all of his nurses as well. We have no assistance.
“The coronavirus has made everyone very scared. They are kicking us out of the hotel. The owner has told us that we have to leave between tomorrow or the day after.”
He goes on to describe his fears of contracting the virus as “there is no drinkable tap water, gloves, face masks, hand sanitiser or medicine on this island.”
Adding they have a “feeling of claustrophobia from being locked in a room of eight square metres (86 square feet) and the feeling of agoraphobia from being on a small island 17,000 kilometres (10,563 miles) away from home.
“We can’t deal with this situation any more and have to send this alert because we don’t know what we are going to do with India on the street.”
Lorenzana says they contacted the Spanish embassy but “have been waiting for many hours with no response” adding “nobody tells us why we can’t enter another hotel, we don’t know what we will eat because the supermarkets are closing tomorrow.”
The Spanish man went on to reveal “some people broke quarantine in Manila yesterday and were placed in dog cages with the sun blaring on them from above” fearing the same could happen to him or his family.
He goes on to suggest sending a charter flight as the island has an international airport and “there are still a lot of tourists here, many of them European” and they can “worry about repatriation once we get to Europe.”
Lorenzana ended by saying: “So we leave this message, please help us, help India. We cannot do anything else.
“We respected everything we had to because we understood we were not a priority, we knew the priority were people in Spain who were dying with the authorities controlling everything.
“But now, we are in an emergency situation.”
It is unclear what the family’s current situation is.
According to the latest figures from the Johns Hopkins University, there have been 2,633 cases of the virus reported in the Philippines leading to 107 deaths.
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