'We feel ignored': Black Country tourists stranded in India still don't know when they will get home

Black Country tourists stuck in India on coronavirus lockdown say they feel "ignored" by the Government after receiving no official contact over getting them home.

Thousands of Brits are stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown
Thousands of Brits are stranded abroad due to the coronavirus lockdown

The Foreign Office has announced that charter flights from India to the UK will begin next week, but many families say they have been left in the dark over the plans and have "no idea" when their loved ones will return to Britain.

Jarnail Singh, 65 and his wife Kirpal Kaur, 67, from Bilston, have been under a strict lockdown in the Punjab city of Jalandhar, and have seen two flights cancelled in the past fortnight.

Their daughter, Manjit Kaur, 39, from Halesowen, said: "There has been no official contact from the UK government and the information that is online is conflicting.

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"The circumstances are getting worse for people who are stuck out there. At the moment it feels like we are being ignored.

"All we want is for political issues to be put aside and for British people to be brought home to safety."

Ms Kaur said that both of her parents suffer from serious health conditions and have had to rely on family connections with officials to get medication from a pharmacy, although they have been unable to get some of the specialist treatments they need.

Wolverhampton South East MP Pat McFadden said he wanted to see British nationals brought home as soon as possible.

He said: "The Government has to really drive this with governments abroad, with the airlines and with UK embassies to get the information on where people are and get them home."

Hundreds of people from the Black Country are stranded abroad, with the majority of them believed to be in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Jan Thompson, Britain's high commissioner in Delhi, announced last night that special charter flights from India to the UK will start next week.

"Next week is just the start," she said. "We will not be able to get everyone home immediately so please bear with us."

She added that the priority will be to bring the most vulnerable people home first.

On Friday Pakistan International Airlines announced it would be starting repatriation flights to the UK.

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