A Lytham woman living in the Chinese province where the coronavirus outbreak started is out of quarantine.
Shell Buchanan said it was the “best day of 2020 so far” – but said she can’t get back to her home in Wuhan, which remains in lockdown as officials attempt to tackle the deadly virus, which has killed more than 1,000 people in China and infected tens of thousands more.
The teacher, who graduated from Blackpool and The Fylde College’s university centre in 2013, was visiting friends in Fuzhou, in the Fujian province, when the lockdown was put in place – leaving her stranded.
Now staying in a hotel, Shell said: “I’m staying in China, at least until I can get back to Wuhan. It’s going to be an interesting few months. The school I work for has decided we will all teach online until the pandemic is over, so I can keep working from my phone for now.”
Shell said the streets “were incredibly quiet” as she enjoyed her “first full day of exploring China after quarantine” and added: “Every time I entered a building, my temperature was checked. When I got back to the hotel after walking around 15 miles, they had locked me out.
"They didn’t want me to stay because I’m from Wuhan. I had to wait outside for an hour explaining that I am not sick and that I’ve been away from the city for weeks before they let me back into the room.
“These are trying and unpredictable times.”
Shell, who grew up on the Fylde coast, moved to China two years ago, and told The Gazette late last month how she had been “trapped outside the city” without any of her belongings.