Wuhan evacuee who was in the Arrowe Park quarantine in UK now wishes he‘d never left China 

‘Out of the pot, into the FIRE‘: British Wuhan evacuee, 38, who cried ‘we‘re free‘ as he left Arrowe Park quarantine now wishes he‘d never left China

A Wuhan evacuee who was quarantined for two weeks when he returned to the UK has said he wishes he had never left China.

Matt Raw, 38, shouted ‘we‘re free‘ as he walked out of quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral on February 13, but now says he went ‘out of the pot, into the fire‘ when he was released.

‘We should never have left China,‘ he added. ‘We made the decision to come back over here because there was a killer virus running loose around Wuhan.‘

Mr Raw thought the UK would learn about how to deal with the virus from China, but says instead ‘they did nothing‘. 

He added: ‘At the time coronavirus was not in England – I think the first case was while we were in quarantine in Arrowe Park, and I thought “they have seen what happened in China, they will jump on this straight away”.‘

Mr Raw, who arrived back in Britain on January 31 with his wife, Ying, 38, and his 75-year-old mother, Hazel, who has dementia, said that for friends and family in Wuhan things are starting to get back to normal.

He said: ‘They‘re out of lockdown, it looks like they‘ve got control of the situation.

‘Ying‘s brother has his own business and, as far as I understand, they are all back at work now, but they‘re still being sensible, taking precautions and not going out unnecessarily.‘

Mr Raw abandoned his Jeep at Wuhan airport before boarding the repatriation flight, but said his brother-in-law had now been able to collect the vehicle.

He said he believed China had done ‘everything right‘ and acted more quickly and with greater force than the UK to restrict the spread of the virus.

Now, he is not planning to return to the country until there is a vaccine for Covid-19 making it safe for his mother to travel.

He said his wife had applied for a visa to stay in the UK but delays with the process mean they are not sure if she will need to return to China next month.

Mr Raw said he has been filming YouTube videos, playing the piano and spending time in the garden of his home in Knutsford, Cheshire, to occupy himself during lockdown.

He also praised his neighbours, who, he said, have been supporting each other. ‘That‘s really what makes it all very, very bearable indeed,‘ he said.

‘We know what we‘ve got to do now, we need to stay inside and it‘s not going to be forever.

‘I would rather be in quarantine over here than in China, but I think, very definitely, that coming back here was a mistake.

‘We‘ve made our bed so we just have to put on a happy face and lie in it now.‘

Mr Raw was one of 83 Britons evacuated from China and quarantined in a unit on the Wirral.

They had landed at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and were driven 180 miles by bus to Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside.

Doctors and nurses were given two days‘ notice to move from the accommodation block to make way for the quarantined Britons.

Staff were seen packing bedding, clothes and pots and pans into cars and vans.

On January 22, the UK was still at low risk from the virus and Heathrow was screening all arrivals from Wuhan.

Two people in the UK tested positive for the virus at the end of January after two Chinese nationals fell ill at a hotel in York. One was a student at the University of York. 

A third infection was confirmed on February 6 and the patient was believed to have contracted the virus at a conference in Singapore.

By January 29, the Hubei province in China had 4,903 infections and 162 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.  

Britain‘s cases began to surge on March 4 after 34 cases were detected in a single day.

Boris Johnson urged people to work from home where possible and avoid pubs and restaurants on March 16. 

He announced lockdown measures on March 23, with non-essential shops closing.

People were only allowed to leave their house for essential reasons, such as shopping, medical reasons, travelling to and from work where they couldn‘t work from home and an hour of daily exercise.

Some six weeks later the UK has now had 183,500 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 28,131 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

This means Britain has the second highest death toll in Europe after Italy.

The Hubei province in China, where the first cases of the virus were detected, claimed to have had 68,128 confirmed cases and 4,512 deaths.

Last week Downing Street removed China from the list of other countries it uses to compare the spread of the coronavirus – in a snub to Beijing amid widespread anger at the nation‘s apparent cover-up of the seriousness of its coronavirus outbreak.

It is another diplomatic attack on China in the wake of Donald Trump‘s accusations that the World Health Organisation (WHO) colluded with Beijing to downplay its coronavirus outbreak, and global disbelief over China‘s claim to have only 4,636 dead from the virus.

The people of Wuhan believe the death toll in their city that was the epicentre of the outbreak is 42,000 – not the 3,182 claimed by China.

In America, the Trump administration is ramping up its attacks on Beijing – blaming President Xi‘s government for letting COVID-19 spread across the globe unchecked while the Communist regime saved face.

Trump has suspended $500million in US funding for the WHO after claiming it had ‘accelerated‘ the deadly contagion because chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus initially swallowed China‘s claims that coronavirus was not transmissible between humans.

There is also global outrage at Chinese officials for waiting six days to warn the public after becoming aware that a viral outbreak was causing a rash of deadly pneumonia cases in Wuhan.

While Beijing waited, residents in Wuhan hosted a mass banquet for tens of thousands of people, and millions began traveling for Lunar New Year celebrations. 

President Xi Jinping warned the public on the seventh day after top Communist Party leaders learned of the outbreak, January 20.

In the meantime, the Chinese government arrested or silenced doctors and citizens in Wuhan who tried to speak out about the disturbing new outbreak.

Even the mayor of Wuhan suggested in an interview with Chinese state television that Communist Party leadership prohibited him from warning the public until January 20.

By the time Xi issued the public warning, more than 3,000 people had been infected during almost a week of public silence, according to internal documents and expert estimates based on retrospective infection data.

The delay from January 14 to January 20 by the first country to face the new coronavirus came at a critical time – the beginning of the outbreak. 

UK ministers had been showing China on charts detailing cases and deaths in other countries in the government‘s daily press conference, comparing them to those in the UK. China‘s figures have since disappeared.

Before being removed, China was one one of the nine nations included in a ‘global death comparison‘ published by the government, with figures suggesting that China‘s figures were lower than that of other countries, such as the U.S., Italy and Spain.

Currently, the country‘s official death toll stands at 4,636 from the coronavirus and has seen 83,901 people test positive for the virus.

However, one study by experts at Hong Kong University suggests that the numbers in the country where the virus is thought to have originated are much higher.

China revised the death toll in coronavirus ground-zero Wuhan, revealing that nearly 4,000 people died from the illness in the area.

In a social media post, the city government added 1,290 deaths to the tally in Wuhan, bringing the toll to 3,869.

Officials said many fatal cases were ‘mistakenly reported‘ or missed entirely in an admission that comes amid growing global doubts about Chinese transparency.

How China ‘covered up‘ coronavirus outbreak 

Lab Accident?

US intelligence sources have claimed to media that corona virus escaped from a  lab in Wuhan. They say an intern at the lab was infected in an accident, which she then covered up before infecting her boyfriend. 

Chinese officials were quick to blame bats sold at the wet market in Wuhan as the source of the outbreak. 

Delay in admitting human-human transmission 

Chinese officials for waiting six days to warn the public after becoming aware that a viral outbreak was causing a rash of deadly pneumonia cases in Wuhan in January. 

Covering up death toll 

China still only claims to 4,636 dead from virus. 

The people of Wuhan believe the death toll in their city that was the epicentre of the outbreak is 42,000 – not the 3,182 claimed by China.

Silencing whistleblowers 

Eight Wuhan medical workers who sounded the alarm on the virus at the end of December were accused of spreading fake news and reprimanded by police. 

The global pandemic originally emerged in Wuhan. The city went on to suffer the vast majority of China‘s fatalities from Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

The change also pushes the nationwide death toll up by nearly 39 percent to 4,632, based on official national data released earlier on Friday.

Numbers of total cases in the city of 11 million were also raised by 325 to 50,333, accounting for about two-thirds of China‘s total 82,367 announced cases. 

World leaders including Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have hinted their disapproval of Chinese tactics of misinformation amid the ongoing pandemic.

Germany‘s chancellor urged Beijing to be transparent about the origin and initial transmission of the virus.

‘I believe the more transparent China is about the origin story of the virus, the better it is for everyone in the world in order to learn from it,‘ she said.

With 4,648 deaths, Germany has suffered almost the exact same number of casualties as China – 4,636 – but has confirmed almost 62,000 more infections.

And French President Macron has said there are ‘things that we don‘t know about‘ in China‘s handling of the coronavirus crisis, joining a growing chorus of doubts about the accuracy of China‘s claims.

Macron said in an interview published in the Financial Times that China‘s figures could not be compared to those in free countries.

‘Given these differences, the choices made and what China is today, which I respect, let‘s not be so naive as to say it‘s been much better at handling this,‘ he said.

‘We don‘t know. There are clearly things that have happened that we don‘t know about.‘

China‘s official figures paint a picture of astonishing success in slowing the outbreak, but there has been widespread scepticism about their accuracy.

Macron said there could be no comparison between countries where the truth was suppressed and nations where information flowed freely and citizens could criticise their governments. 


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