Coronavirus: Hampshire family ‘arrested’ at Pakistan funeral

Arshad MahmoodImage copyright
Anjum Mahmood

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Dr Mahmood said his grieving father was trapped in quarantine with other coronavirus patients

A British GP whose mother died in Pakistan after contracting coronavirus has said family members were arrested at her funeral and locked in quarantine.

Dr Anjum Mahmood said some relatives had been “padlocked” in homes with police guards outside.

The Aldershot GP said his father had spent eight “nail-biting” days at a centre with other coronavirus patients.

Local officials said more than 20 family members were in quarantine.

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Anjum Mahmood

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The GP said his mother Shahida died suddenly after contracting Covid-19

Dr Mahmood said his UK-based parents and other relatives went to Pakistan in early March to shop for his wedding.

His mother Shahida died suddenly on 24 March and was buried the following day.

The GP said: “As the funeral prayer was finishing, several local police cars turned up and arrested 25 people.”

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Ahsan Waheed

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Dr Mahmood said social distancing rules were observed at his mother’s funeral

He said his father, who had already tested positive for coronavirus, was taken to a medical centre for Covid-19 patients in Rawalpindi.

He said: “My father is 74, with extreme grief and mourning and put in a place where every day is nail-biting.

“He has now tested negative and not been released. No isolation and mingling with lots of Covid-positive patients.

“My other relatives spent the first 12 hours locked in homes with no food or water.”

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Anjum Mahmood

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The GP said his uncles had been “padlocked” in homes by the Pakistani authorities

Deputy Commissioner for Jhelum, Saif Anwar Jappa, told the BBC that regulations were not followed during the funeral.

However, Dr Mahmood said mourners followed social distancing rules and obeyed the limit of 15 relatives.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: “We are in touch with local authorities and supporting a British man in hospital in Pakistan, along with several family members.”


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