Man in a mask

Janitorial worker Purna Ghale was one of thousands of UK citizens caught abroad when travel restrictions were suddenly brought in to slow the spread of coronavirus around the globe.

The 43-year-old who works for Medirest at Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, England, was visiting family in Nepal when he heard his return flight has been cancelled. He spent another three weeks in Kathmandu before the government arranged for a flight to repatriate nearly 300 British citizens. 

Purna, who has worked at the hospital for 16 years, says special transport was laid on to collect people from their homes as the Nepalese capital went into total lockdown.

“There were only a handful of reported cases in Kathmandu but the lockdown is very strict in Nepal. The police and army patrol the streets and very few people are allowed outside," says Purna in a press release from London Northwest University Healthcare NHS Trust. “It was a relief to get back to my family in the UK."

Purna came straight back to work and is one of hundreds of non-clinical staff who keep the hospital running behind the scenes.

“I’m just doing my bit like everyone else," he says.