M’sian in London hopes for a safe travel home as scheduled on April 15

M’sian in London hopes for a safe travel home as scheduled on April 15

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s the fifth day of a lockdown in the United Kingdom in its fight against the COVID-19, and for Malaysian Maznah Khalil, who is currently with her family in London, the feelings are mixed – apprehension on one hand and a sense of preparedness on the other.

Maznah, a former staff with the Malaysian national news agency Bernama, is due to return home on April 15 on a Malaysia Airlines flight, but with the lockdown in London and growing restrictions on air travel in many parts of the world, she is now hoping that all will be well for her to take the flight back as scheduled.

“It has been difficult to get in touch with Malaysia Airlines on the phone with regards to queries on flight information. So far, there has been no indication whatsoever of any changes in flight and hence I am hoping that all will be alright for me to travel.

“But with the latest development, there is also a sense of uncertainty on whether it will be safe to travel now, and I have already started preparing on what to do if there are any further restrictions on travel, whether in London or Malaysia, “ she told Bernama in a telephone interview on Saturday.

“I am also fortunate as I have a place to stay here in London, unlike maybe other visitors who may be staying in hotels and stranded due to flight delays,“ Maznah said.

Meanwhile, Maznah, who had in early February accompanied her daughter and two grand-daughters to London to visit her son-in-law who is studying there, is staying put in the house with her family in the South Lewisham district in line with the lockdown in London.

“Much like the Movement Control Order in Malaysia, only one member is allowed to go out for groceries. We are also allowed an exercise walk a day outside. Everything is pretty much closed except the essential stores but we had done our grocery shopping earlier especially for essentials like rice, flour and eggs. Unlike Malaysia, where I heard it is more strict, here there are no restrictions yet on travel to other places and people can be also seen in parks and so on.

“While the lockdown by the UK government only started recently, many private companies had already asked their staff to work from home and the social distancing started much earlier than before the official lockdown,” Maznah said.

To date, the UK has reported a total of 17,089 confirmed COVID-10 cases and 1,019 deaths. A total of 135 individuals have also officially recovered  from the disease.

Both UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Health Secretary Matt Hancock were reported to have tested positive for COVID-19 and are currently under self-isolation.