/Wirral dad in desperate plea for coronavirus evacuation

Wirral dad in desperate plea for coronavirus evacuation

A Wirral dad desperate to get home from China after the coronavirus outbreak has shared an emotional plea to be evacuated alongside his wife and newborn baby.

Steffan Atherton, a teacher from Moreton, is currently working at a school in Fuzhou and posted a video on YouTube of himself calling the British Embassy along with another showing the deserted streets of the city in quarantine.

In the video, a visibly stressed Mr Atherton requests to be evacuated.

Referring to the government’s decision to evacuate Brits from Wuhan, he asks the embassy official: “Is there any plans for the rest of us to be evacuated?” and the official replies: “Not so far no.”

Mr Atherton then asks: “There’s no plans whatsoever?”

The official says: “Not as far as I’m aware, no.”

Mr Atherton, who posted the video yesterday, then says: “The issue is we’re 100 plus infected in this area according to the information we’ve received.”

Overnight, the British government evacuated citizens from the city at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, Wuhan.

The Wirral dad in Fuzhou
(Image: Steffan Atherton/YouTube)

The evacuees are to spend two weeks in quarantine in accommodation at Arrowe Park hospital in Wirral.

In the call, Mr Atherton says he cannot get a flight out of Fuzhou, and also shares his fears about his Peruvian wife who does not have a British passport.


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He says: “I’m here with my newborn baby who only just got his passport, his British passport.

“My wife is Peruvian. She doesn’t have a British passport. Will she be allowed to be evacuated with me as and when that happens?”

The dad was visibly stressed about his wife and child
(Image: Steffan Atherton/YouTube)

The official says: “OK, so far up until now those who are family members of British citizens are going to be allowed.”

After the call ends, a relieved Mr Atherton says “thank you” and puts his head in his hands.

In a later video, he rides his moped through the deserted streets of the city, where red flags and loudspeakers announce the quarantine.

The Foreign Office currently advises against all but essential travel to mainland China following the outbreak of coronavirus in Wuhan.

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In the advice, published on 28 January 2020, it says: “British people currently in China should make decisions based on their own personal circumstances, bearing in mind that travel may become more difficult in the coming days.

“Commercial options for departing China remain available except in Hubei Province. The Foreign Office is working to finalise arrangements for evacuating British nationals from Hubei.”

A Foreign Office spokesperson said that British Nationals in China should follow UK travel advice closely and frequently by checking the following page: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/china

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