LONDON: More than 20 Ukrainian children with cancer have been airlifted to the United Kingdom, the British government said on Monday (Mar 14), as an appeal began for Britons to take in refugees in their homes.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that the 21 children had been receiving treatment in Ukraine but were forced to leave their homes because of Russia’s invasion.
They are now being given “life-saving” care by the state-run National Health Service (NHS) and have been accompanied by their carers, he told Sky News television.
The government in London has been criticised for insisting that those fleeing the conflict and wanting to join family in the UK have to apply for visas to be able to travel.
Its insistence on security checks and visas has earned it unfavourable comparisons with the European Union, which has allowed Ukrainians visa-free stays for up to three years.
As of Saturday, “just over 3,000” visas had been granted under a UK scheme for family members, Javid told Times Radio.