Coronavirus: Fears for daughter in quarantine in Taiwan

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Natalie Dawson and partner Rohan Pixley

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Natalie Dawson

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Natalie Dawson and partner Rohan Pixley have been in quarantine since 14 March

The mother of a British woman quarantined in Taiwan because of the coronavirus outbreak said she was being kept “in prison-like conditions”.

Natalie Dawson, 28, was on holiday with her Australian partner Rohan Pixley when they were told they would have to go into isolation for 14 days.

Her mother said they had been separated and “incarcerated” with basic food.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said it was working with officials to release the couple.

“They are locked in and they can’t get out,” said Jill Weaver, from Quorn in Leicestershire.

“One man brings them food three times a day. But it is of poor quality and meagre portions.

“The room is filthy. She has no hot water and nowhere to wash her clothes.

“They have to quarantine, which is fine. We aren’t disputing that. It is the conditions they are being held in.”

‘Just awful’

The couple had been en route to Australia and planned a stopover in Taiwan at the start of March before the coronavirus pandemic escalated.

As the situation worsened, they cancelled their trip to Australia and were told anyone arriving in Taiwan since the start of March needed to isolate for a fortnight.

Mrs Weaver said the pair agreed to quarantine in their hotel but were then moved out and taken by ambulance to an unknown location.

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Milo Hsieh

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Arrivals to Taiwan have to sign a pledge saying they will stay behind closed doors for a fortnight and keep a record of their temperature

“She’s a very strong woman mentally, she’s done a lot of travelling worldwide, but she’s really struggling with this,” Mrs Weaver added.

“I feel guilty sitting in the garden because I can sit outside, but she can’t.

“It’s not right they are being kept like that. It’s just awful.”

Mrs Weaver said her daughter had celiac disease, meaning she needed a special diet which those feeding her were now accommodating.

The couple are due to leave isolation on Saturday when they will be expected to pay £6.25 each per night to cover the cost of their food.

A spokeswoman for the FCO said they were assisting a British woman in quarantine.

“Our consular staff are in regular contact with her and have raised her concerns about the conditions she is in with the Taiwanese authorities,” she said.

The Taiwan Embassy in the UK has been approached for comment.

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