Canadian man pleads help to get family from Wuhan amid chaos
Canadian man pleads help to get family from Wuhan amid chaos regarding the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent quarantine of the Chinese city. Yet another Canadian family is affected, as British Columbian Monte Gisborne is asking for support from the authorities. According to Gisborne, his wife Daniela Luo and their nine-year-old daughter, Dominica, are now trapped in China.
Daniela and Dominica were in Wuhan to visit family when the sudden coronavirus crisis escalated the situation. With Wuhan in full quarantine, they are now living in Luo’s parents apartment and seldom get out. Luo also confided to Gisborne that the situation is so critical that when they get out, they usually cover every inch of their bodies, and wear face masks and thick layers. Moreover, Gisborne says that while his wife cannot wait to come back home to British Columbia, she is terrified by the thought of leaving her parents behind.
‘My government should step up to help their people’
Gisborne, who met Daniela and her daughter, Dominica, about six years ago in Wuhan during a business trip, is despondent about the entire situation. Also, he believes the Canadian government is not doing enough to protect its people.
‘I think my government should step to help their people’, says Gisborne, who is unsure whether Luo and Dominica could be entitled to support from the Canadian authorities. Since Luo and Dominica are not citizens, but permanent residents, it is ambiguous if they are eligible for emergency request assistance. The Canadian government specifies that its services are ‘only intended for Canadian citizens’. Moreover, the government also stated a chartered plane is not necessary to evacuate Canadians from Wuhan.
Even though the government of Canada does not seem willing to make this step, others, such as the United States and France, have already announced emergency plans to evacuate citizens and diplomats from Wuhan.
City on lockdown an ‘unprecedented’ measure according to WHO
Daniela and Dominica often return to Wuhan to visit family, according to Gisborne. Also, the Chinese New Year was around the corner. But just after a few days from their arrival in Wuhan, the quarantine had begun.
The World Health Organisation has referred to this public health measure as ‘unprecedented’. Not only there is no transport coming from or to the city, even most vehicles have now been banned from its downtown. Moreover, just the sheer size of the lockdown is mind-fogging: Wuhan is a metropolis of over 11 million people.
‘It’s a very busy place […] a potpourri of noises and smells and sounds and visions’, commented Gisborne. But now, with the full lockdown in place and fright taking hold, the city has become a deserted ghost town.
While Gisborne confirms he has been in constant communication with his wife and daughter through WeChat, he fears the Chinese government might cut off communication. To conclude, if the Canadian government does not step up, he could be cut off from his family for months if not more. ‘As the news gets worse…the hope fades’, remarks Gisborne. He concludes by saying that ‘the biggest challenge’ for his everyday is to keep up hope that a solution can be found.