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Coronavirus Kent: Friends from Ramsgate both with health issues stranded in the Philippines after flights home cancelled

A mum-of-two is stranded in the Philippines with no way of getting home to her family after flying out there before the coronavirus outbreak took hold.

Eva Perkins, from Ramsgate, flew to Asia with her friend Stuart Atchison to visit relatives on March 6 and they immediately made plans to fly home when the situation with Covid-19 worsened.

Stuart Atchison and Eva Perkins are stranded in the Philippines
Stuart Atchison and Eva Perkins are stranded in the Philippines

But the self-employed beauty therapist, whose husband and two sons, aged 13 and 24, are at home in Ramsgate, and Mr Atchinson had their flights cancelled and they are currently unable to rebook.

Both Mrs Perkins, 48, and Mr Atchinson, 50, a local government officer also from Ramsgate, are diabetic and they fear being unable to access their prescription medicines should they be out there for much longer.

"I'm insulin dependent and we both also have hypertension," said Mrs Perkins.

"I have had thyroid cancer so need the supplement thyroxine."

She says after arriving in the Philippines and spending a week there they were told to leave their beach resort because the town was going into lockdown.

"We made a 10-hour journey by road back to the city near our airport Clark International," she said.

"We checked into our hotel and rearranged our stay. The next day we were told not to leave our rooms as we were under quarantine rules imposed by government.

The pair before they were told their trip was to be cut short
The pair before they were told their trip was to be cut short

"The government originally said all foreign nationals had 72 hours to leave so you can imagine the pandemonium trying to rearrange flights.

"We were unsuccessful. The next day the government rescinded the 72-hour rule.

"We phoned our insurance company and our airline Emirates, who both said not to worry and to sit tight until our original flight on Friday, March 27."

But the stricken pair have now been told Emirates has cancelled their flight home and they have struggled to speak to anyone in Manila who can help.

Mrs Perkins said: "My mum called the UK (Emirates) number only to be told there are no flights to rebook.

"So for now we are stuck here.

"As you can imagine it's very stressful. The embassy here, whilst pleasant, have been of very little help."

This evening, the Foreign Office told all British people to come home now if they were still abroad.

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