A Quebec woman stuck in the coronavirus epicentre of Wuhan amid the lockdown of the city in China’s Hubei province says she wants to stay to be with her parents.
Felicity Feng traveled to Wuhan to visit her family in December and has been there since. Days before Feng’s flight home, the city was shut down.
Wuhan, which is home to 11 million residents, as well as surrounding cities have been under lockdown while officials grapple with the spread of the virus. About 50 million people in total are in the quarantine zone.
“It’s very difficult because there’s nothing I can do, there’s nothing she can do,” said Jean-François Rondeau, Feng’s fiance who stayed back home on Montreal’s south shore.
Feng, however, told Global News she prefers to stay in Wuhan with her parents. Her father is working as a project manager for one of the coronavirus hospitals that’s being built in response to the high number of people who need to be treated for the virus.
“He’s doing everything that the government wants the population not to do,” Rondeau told Global News.
“He’s being exposed, he’s working outside with a bunch of other people.”
Despite the health risk, Feng said she and her mother are proud of her father.
“We are scared, but we understand his responsibility,” Feng said.
Rondeau added that the quarantine isn’t good for the mental health of his fiance and her family. With the exception of construction and emergency vehicles, no cars are allowed on the road and the public is asked to stay home.
For the most part, life in Wuhan has stopped.
“Some days take their toll,” Rondeau said, adding that even turning on the TV while indoors all day offers no relief, because all that is being spoken about on Chinese television is the outbreak.
Feng and Rondeau are set to marry in April, but for now Rondeau said the wedding plans are on hold.
“I’m trying to stay very calm in all of this. As long as we are all OK,” he said.
Since the virus was first identified on Dec. 31, 2019, more than 20,000 people, most in China, have been infected and it has spread to more than 20 countries around the world.
Roughly 180 cases of the virus have been confirmed in other countries. Two deaths have occurred in Hong Kong and Indonesia.
Canada has seen four confirmed cases: three in Ontario and one in B.C., but there have been no fatalities.
— With files from Global News’ Amanda Connolly