Irish man living in Wuhan describes unfolding scenes following deadly coronavirus outbreak

Irish man living in Wuhan describes unfolding scenes following deadly coronavirus outbreak

AN IRISH man living in Wuhan has described the unfolding scenes in the city at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak.

The Chinese city is under lockdown after 17 peopled died from the SARS-like virus, with a further 500 cases reported in the region.

Ben Kavanagh, who is originally from Kildare, is among those affected by the lockdown.

Speaking to RTE Morning Ireland, Mr Kavanagh said he hadn’t left his apartment for two or three days and that days are beginning to blur into one another.

“There’s no chance of me going outside anytime soon, because everyone’s saying not to leave at any point at all,” he said.


“Usually the street I can see from my apartment would be quite busy, but I live near a dual carriage way that I can see and it’s almost like a ghost town.

“You are allowed out but there’s been so many rumours,” he said.

Though he has access to clean water, Mr Kavanagh expressed concern that he is running low on food and will need to go out soon.

“It’s just come at the worst possible time [Chinese New Year is January 24] that’s why people are travelling so much, because it’s holiday time and they’re going to see their families,’ he said.

“I wasn’t worried four or five days ago — but now that everyone’s taking it more seriously, it does play on your mind a bit.”

Mr Kavanagh is taking all the necessary precautions in the event he does venture out – he will wear swimming goggles and a surgical mask.

His account comes amid reports a man is being treated at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital for symptoms associated with the deadly coronavirus.


It's understood that the man had travelled from Wuhan - where the outbreak began - to Northern Ireland and was put in isolation after touching down at Belfast Airport on Sunday.

The man, believed to be a Chinese national, was taken to isolation as a precautionary measure and test results, to determine whether or not he has the virus, are due back in the next 24 hours.