‘I wasn’t worried’: Coach driver who was pictured driving British coronavirus evacuees to quarantine without a protective suit or mask says he was told the risk is ‘very, very low’
- Peter Badger, 54, said he did not tell his family before accepting Friday’s job
- He was one of five drivers who took the evacuees to the Wirral after they landed
- Drivers had been advised to ‘self-isolate’ at home for two weeks as a precaution
One of the coach drivers who was pictured without a protective suit or mask as he transported the Britons flown home from China has revealed that he wasn’t worried and was simply ‘doing his duty’.
Peter Badger, 54, said he did not tell his family before accepting the job of driving them to the Wirral on Friday because he and the other four drivers had been told the risk was ‘very, very low’.
And although their coach firm said the drivers had been advised to ‘self-isolate’ at home for two weeks as a precaution, they were seen mingling with the public in a hotel bar the next day.
Peter Badger, 54 – one of the coach drivers who was pictured without a protective suit or mask as he transported the Britons flown home from China – revealed that he wasn’t worried and was simply ‘doing his duty’
The 83 Britons were taken from RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire to Arrowe Park Hospital, where they are being quarantined.
Yesterday it emerged that the drivers had been put up in a Travelodge in Birkenhead, on the Wirral, for at least two nights while they waited for their coaches to undergo a deep clean.
They were seen leaving the hotel, and socialising in the bar of a hotel opposite. Mr Badger told The Sunday Times he had not feared for his health when driving the evacuees.
The coronavirus death toll within China’s borders has risen to more than 300 and the virus has claimed its first victim outside the country as it was reported a 44-year-old man from Wuhan had died in the Philippines
‘It didn’t bother me,’ he said. ‘If I was wearing a hazmat suit I wouldn’t be able to drive that sort of distance. I’ve been told I won’t get ill, and I believe that.’
He added: ‘Everybody wanted to do their duty.’
Yesterday bosses of their firm, Reading-based Horseman Coaches, said government officials had told them the risk to the drivers was ‘almost non-existent’.
China updated the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak to 361 on Monday, with an additional 2,829 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 17,205.