THE daughter of veteran Welsh language campaigner Ffred Fransis is desperately appealing for help in bringing him back from Peru during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

Ffred Fransis, of Llanfihangel-ar-Arth, a prominent member of Cymdeithas yr Iaith Gymraeg (The Welsh Language Society) for decades has a heart condition and is currently stranded in Cusco, Peru with his wife Meinir.

Fred’s daughter, Gwenno Morris, of Llandysul, said: “My parents have been travelling the continent for almost a month. In Peru, it was announced that the borders would be closed just days after my parents landed there. It was said that they would have a day to get out of the country, but there were no seats on any flights and so it was impossible for them to do so.

“In other countries, citizens were given the opportunity to return before the borders were closed. In the USA for example, people were given two days to return, i.e. the 'grace period'.

“That didn't happen in Peru. The situation in Peru is not one where tourists can live. Most are in hostels and many have said that they are not even allowed to leave their rooms. Many on the list are in their late teens, have just left school and have no experience to deal with this situation.

“The army on the streets is very strict with anyone outside, even though they are supposed to be allowed to go shopping. There is hardly any food left in the supermarkets but most have no way to cook anyway and with all the restaurants closed it is a serious threat to the health of many of them.

“According to a statement by Peru's president today he is very willing to work with countries to return their citizens, so we have to conclude that our own government is the only thing that prevents the return of our very vulnerable citizens.”

There are 180 UK citizens based in Cusco, which is over 3,300 metres above sea level. Some of the individuals - who already have serious health problems - have mentioned breathing difficulties.

Also stranded in Cusco are north Pembrokeshire teenagers Oran Fudge and Tom Renny.

Speaking to the Tivyside, Meinir said: "We are well,and receiving great support from back home in Wales.

"Our children have been campaigning hard, not only on our behalf but for all people from the countries of Britain and Ireland who are stuck here, with no knowledge of when or how we will be able to leave.

"There are armed police and soldiers on every street and we are only allowed to leave the hotel one at a time to visit a pharmacy or to buy a few groceries.

"Our hotel has now put up a sign to say that food is getting scarcer. But we are in a far better position than the youngsters confined to their rooms in their hostels.

"We are very disappointed with the London government which is doing nothing to help and has even been criticised by the former foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.

"Other countries are doing far more to help their citizens while the only advice to us is to try and get out if we can (although they know that that is impossible when all the borders are closed and no public transport) or to stay put!

"The British Embassy in Lima has even been shut down."