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  1. ITV Report

Cardiff lecturer stranded in Wuhan following coronavirus breakout

A lecturer from Cardiff is stranded in Wuhan as the Chinese city remains on lock-down to following the breakout of coronavirus.

71-year-old Yvonne Griffiths' flight has been cancelled and cannot leave the city to return to her home in the Thornehill area in Cardiff.

On Tuesday morning, there were 4,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and the death toll had risen to 106.

Dr Griffiths said that she and her three colleagues are living ''day by day.''

We definitely haven’t had any news from the FCO about an evacuation. I’ve read the US and the French are taking their people out. I don’t understand why the British Government can’t do the same. If France thinks it’s urgent enough to get their citizens out, I can’t see why that isn’t a Europe-wide decision.

– Yvonne Griffiths

Dr Griffiths, who was due to spend three weeks teaching in Wuhan University, which is twinned with Birmingham City University. But studies in Wuhan.

Although she is mostly staying in her hotel room, she says her anxiety is growing “day by day”.

It’s not a very safe situation health wise. The Chinese Government has said just don't go out and don’t travel around. But day by day the anxiety level has increased especially as we realised we weren’t going to be able to leave on Thursday.

I’m increasingly worried and concerned. The weight of uncertainty is growing as time goes on. In a way, it’s more difficult for families who are outside of the situation,” said Dr Griffiths. They end up thinking you may fall ill at any point. It does keep you awake at night. I would feel a lot safer at home.

– Yvonne Griffiths
Credit: PA

One of the last people to fly out of Wuhan back to London was Thomas Crosby, a colleague of Dr Griffiths. She last spoke to someone at the FCO on Monday and was told there was no new information about what could happen.

Cardiff North MP Anna McMorrin criticised the Government’s response to the epidemic.

The UK Government’s response to bringing my constituent, Dr Yvonne Griffiths and other UK citizens back home from Wuhan has been appalling. Yvonne is still stranded and there is no response to my urgent and repeated calls to airlift her home.

– Anna McMorrin MP

A spokesman for the FCO said it is working on bringing British nationals home and it is their number one priority.

'We are working to make an option available for British nationals to leave Hubei Province due to the heavy travel restrictions and increased difficulty of accessing consular or medical assistance. The safety and security of British nationals is our number one priority. We continue to monitor developments and are in close touch with the Chinese authorities.

– FCO statement