Coronavirus is already tearing families apart including a British man who was forced to leave his Chinese wife and another mother who may have to leave her 3-year-old child.
British citizens will be quarantined for two weeks in a military base in the UK as the global death toll from the coronavirus outbreak has surpassed 250.
Almost 12,000 infections have been recorded all around the globe, with cases tripling and China warning the outbreak will continue to get worse.
Jeff Siddle, a British teacher, is among those who evacuated from Wuhan with his 9-year-old daughter. However, Beijing barred his wife, a Chinese citizen, from boarding the flight.
54-year-old Siddle and his family went to Hubei province to spend some time with his wife’s family.
“My wife’s a Chinese citizen, although she’s got a permanent residency visa for the UK as a spouse. But what the Foreign Office is saying is they are going to be doing an airlift, possibly tomorrow, but it’s only [for] British citizens. Chinese authorities are not allowing any Chinese residents to leave,” Mr. Siddle expressed.
“I was put in the position to make a decision to either leave my wife here in China, or the three of us stay here (in Wuhan). We have to basically have a nine-year-old child separated from their mother. Who knows how long that is going to be for?”
31-year-old Natalie Francis, an English teacher in Wuhan, was told she couldn’t bring her 3-year-old son as he has a Chinese passport even though he’s a British citizen.
“This morning I got a call at 10am it was a gentleman in London’s foreign office saying while I could come back and there is a place for me there is nothing they could do for my son. It’s not looking like I am going to be on that plane because I only want to leave to save my so. If I am not able to save my son I’m not going to leave,” she said.
Australia and the United States are temporarily denying entry to noncitizens who have recently visited China in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Those who have visited other parts of China within the past two weeks will also be subject to ‘proactive entry screening’ and up to 14 days of self-quarantine and monitoring.
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