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Coronavirus: Adam Bridgeman speaks of life in quarantine

A man who has returned from the UK from coronavirus city Wuhan has spoken from quarantine.

Adam Bridgeman, wife Su and baby Austin touched down last night after they successfully got a place on a plane to take them out of the Chinese city, which is at the centre of the coronavirus.

Adam Bridgeman speaks to KMTV from quarantine

Adam, a former University of Kent, Canterbury, student, had been living in the Asian country for six years.

On Friday, he and his family rushed to get a plane arranged by the Foreign Office to get them out of the city, but were unable to get to the aiport on time.

Yesterday, they boarded a flight bound for France, and then transferred to England.

Speaking to KMTV from Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral – the accommodation set up to quarantine those who have arrived back from Wuhan – he said: "It was a very long and multi-led journey; we had to first get to the French Consulate, then there was the trip to the airport, then we had to wait for the plane.

"There were many many steps to get to where we are now with each step taking a few hours at least."

Adam Bridgeman with his wife Su and baby Austin
Adam Bridgeman with his wife Su and baby Austin

There had been concerns about whether Adam's Chinese wife Su, 31, and four-week-old Austin – who does not have a passport or ID – would be able to travel with him.

The 33-year-old, who works for a gaming company, said: "I was worried about my son most of all because he's so young. Actually on the plane from China to France, you're in an enclosed space with people who may or may not have the virus so we were concerned about him, and besides that, any illness, because he's got no vaccinations; he's very vulnerable to all sorts of things.

"When we first found out about the virus, we didn't take it very seriously, I thought this is maybe people blowing it out of proportion.

"I remember I went to the supermarket, I wore a mask but I wasn't too worried, I thought it would blow over very quickly.

"It got to a point where we were being warned by multiple people not to go out and then we started getting messages from the Chinese government saying, 'don't go out unless you have to, always wear a mask, don't have parties, don't visit friends'.

Medway mum Tracy Bell speaks to KMTV about her son Adam Bridgeman.

"And then we started seeing it on the international news too and I realised maybe I should take this a bit more seriously.

"We were not too sure if we were going to leave because I didn't want to leave my wife.

"As soon as we heard the British government was offering some kind of evacuation, for a long point they told us there's no way the Chinese government will let out the Chinese citizens but after about a week of negotiation, I don't know how it happened but the Chinese government agreed to let my wife and my son on the plane and so it was a long period of not knowing what was going to happen, not knowing what I was going to do.

"We were self-isolated and you feel quite safe because you're not meeting anyone, you don't have face-to-face with anyone and you can get things delivered so you don't have to go out.

"The thing that made us decide to leave and be evacuated in the end was our son's so little and if anything goes wrong with him – and I don't mean the virus – he needs vaccinations, he needs check-ups, and we couldn't take him to a hospital because the hospitals are quite busy and dangerous at the moment.

Listen to KentOnline's daily news podcast to hear more about Adam's story

"So in the end we thought just to be safe we should get out before anything possibly happens."

Upon arrival to RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, one of Adam's fellow passengers who felt unwell was taken away from the group and taken to hospital for tests.

Adam said: "On the flight from Wuhan to China there were people on the flight who had symptoms.

"They were on a different floor of the plane but that was very concerning of course because you're in an enclosed space with people with the symptoms of the virus. They got off the plane first, I never saw them.

"Then on the plane from France to England, one of the small party of people who were Brits, he got quite ill.

From left: Kevin Bell, Tracy Bell, Jamey Bridgeman and son Morgan, Adam and Su
From left: Kevin Bell, Tracy Bell, Jamey Bridgeman and son Morgan, Adam and Su

"The way they explained it to us was just to be safe, he felt a little bit off so we are going to give him some extra checks and you can go on ahead."

On Friday, Adam's mother Tracy Bell, from Chatham expressed her worry for her family.

The family have settled into Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral for two weeks along with all of the other evacuees who arrived on Friday and on Sunday on their flight via France.

"I think to her, us being in Wuhan was like a death sentence or something but to us, it was riskier to stay there so we left but it might have been manageable. She was very worried and she wanted us to get back as soon as possible so she's relieved we are back," Adam said.

"They have given us an apartment area but we can't leave that yet.

"We are still a little bit worried because you still don't know; the symptoms don't show for a little while, it's up to 14 days they day.

"We are still optimistic we are probably okay. Everyone's paying a lot of attention to hygiene, wearing masks, everyone's periodically applying alcohol rub to their hands.

"I feel like we are probably okay.

"As soon as we get the all clear I think I will visit my family."

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