Irish government urged to get its expats out of Wuhan

Published:  6 Feb at 6 PM
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Irish expats trapped in Wuhan are demanding more action from their government during the lockdown.

As food and medicine supplies in the locked-down city of Wuhan run out, increasing numbers of the city’s Irish expat community are growing ever more frustrated by their government’s inaction. Posts on a fast-growing WhatsApp Irish group all call for official action aimed at getting them back home. More restrictions are now being introduced, with only one person per house allowed to shop for food, whilst the Irish government website is simply recommending visiting a travel agency and booking a flight!

As with other expat communities in the stricken mega-city, Irish expats with Chinese partners are fearful they’ll not be allowed to take their spouses with them should they leave. One such is Greg McDonough, a County Kerry-born Irishman living in a small town in Anhui province with his Chinese wife and two-year old son. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs’ advice in answer to his query was to visit their website.

Another Irish expat in Wuhan has been teaching since his arrival in China two years ago. When asked by a reporter how he felt about leaving, he replied he’d be leaving his life behind should evacuation become compulsory. He now believes there’s no point in panicking as long as food supplies don’t run out but thinks it’s sad that the virus has now made everyone suspicious of everyone else. Another reason why he’ll be staying put is that he might spread the virus still further without even realising he was a carrier.
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