Anju Butani cannot understand why anyone would want to abscond from managed isolation at a five-star hotel.
Having arrived from India on June 30 and in quarantine at a Christchurch resort hotel until July 14, Anju and her husband Iqbal – from Pakuranga – say it was the most amazing experience they’ve had.
“I just can’t fathom why anyone would want to do a runner when the wellbeing group appointed by the Government thinks of every little detail to ensure you are safe and comfortable. I think people who flee isolation are absolute fools. It’s very irresponsible,” she says.
Anju is all praise for the treatment they received in quarantine as they were looked after by army personnel and team stationed at the Chateau on the Park, a Hilton Hotel.
“They were so considerate to give us each a Vodafone chip when we arrived. They took care of everything -every morning they would even give us four to five masks on a tray. That is so thoughtful,” she says.
“And why would anyone want to go out to buy liquor when the beer is subsidised at just $4 in the hotels?”
Anju, who had flown to India from Auckland for a holistic treatment, says they were stuck in the city of Bangalore when the pandemic paralysed countries the world over.
“There was no direct flight from Bangalore and since the travel from Bangalore to Mumbai was quite tedious, we patiently waited for a direct flight.”
When that didn’t happen Anju’s daughter Tanya, based in the US, wrote to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying her parents were old and it is a long journey to Mumbai to board the repatriation flight to New Zealand.
“I don’t know if it was anything to do with the letter to the PM but soon after, out of the blue, there was just one charter flight announced by CapaJet from Bangalore,” says Anju.
With a stopover in Delhi and another refuelling pitstop in Singapore before flying to Christchurch, the couple who were relieved to be travelling back home, say the only snag was that they weren’t served any food on the long flight apart from chips, nuts and lollies.
“We were really hungry by the time we reached Christchurch but that wasn’t a biggie. The minute we landed we had the army guys, cops and security look after that,” says Anju.
“There was no time wasted. They promptly gave us chewy bars and water bottles. In the next hour they served us beautiful food. All the meals were so good. It felt like a five-star holiday,” she says.
“We had a Covid-19 test done along with other random tests during our stay. The final Covid test was on the 14th day before we flew out to Auckland.
“For all the people who are misbehaving by fleeing the hotel in quarantine, I would like to say how grateful and proud I am to be a Kiwi.”