A Nottingham couple are amongst the many people stranded in China after flights to and from the country have been restricted following the outbreak of the Coronavirus.
There have now been two confirmed cases in the UK and the new virus has been declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation, as the outbreak continues to spread across the rest of the world.
British Airways has suspended all direct flights to and from mainland China after the UK Government advised against all, but essential travel, to the country.
The decision has affected thousands of passengers, including those wanting to come home.
Nottingham couple, Serena Wang, 32, and James Johnson, 34, whose flight back from China has been suspended, said their lives are now on hold.
Serena Wang, sales assistant in John Lewis Nottingham, stranded in Shanghai
“But for now, we haven’t got any email from British Airways, so we are not too sure what is our next decision.” Serena said.
Nottingham pharmacies sold out of face masks
People in the city, which has many links to East Asia, have been taking precautions against the virus which has now claimed almost 180 lives in China.
Glasshouse Chemist, a city centre pharmacy, has now sold out of clinical face masks.
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Britons stuck in Wuhan to be flown home
A plane carrying European nationals stranded in locked-down Wuhan has now been cleared to take-off today (Friday, January 31).
Amongst the passengers are 83 Britons who, on touch down, will be quarantined for two weeks at a secure NHS facility in
British foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, has confirmed the plane will land at RAF Norton at 13:30 GMT.
Nottingham has potential risk of Coronavirus
The virus has had an impact on businesses and travellers here in Nottingham.
The University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University both have campuses in China and are known for receiving students from China each academic year.
There are concerns for students travelling internationally following the Chinese New Year.
Virus expert, from University of Nottingham, Jonathan Ball believes the UK is well equipped to combat the deadly virus.
“So far, the virus does not seem to be as harmful as previous viruses like SARS or MERS. However, if the virus does become pandemic, the cases in the UK would increase easily because of the convenience of travel and therefore the outbreak might put extra pressures on NHS,” he said.
Expert, Jonathan Ball. (photo credit: UNNC, BBC )
No preparation announced in Queens Medical Centre as yet
Medical trainee, Hwu Yung, at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham says staff have not been notified of any special preparations for the outbreak as yet.
However, he is sure that the hospitals would have a good medical team to combat the outbreak if it were to occur in the region.
“be aware of early signs of the virus such as flu, a cough or feeling poorly over the next two or three days, immediately contact local GP, or call 111.”
Hwu Yung, Medical Trainee of QMC
He has also advised people to access online information, such as that provided by the Public Health England website, regarding to the Coronavirus.
The source of the Coronavirus is believed to be a seafood market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. The city’s health commission said the infection broke out between December 12 and 29, with some of the patients employed at the market.
The animal source of the outbreak has not been identified but two recent research papers have pointed to bats and snakes as the possible culprits.