Coronavirus: Quarantined Brits 'in good spirits' at Arrowe Park Hospital

4 February 2020, 00:34 | Updated: 4 February 2020, 00:36

Buses took the quarantined Brits to Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral
Buses took the quarantined Brits to Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral. Picture: PA

A teacher being kept in quarantine with 93 other Brits after returning from Wuhan amid the coronavirus outbreak said the group are “in good spirits.”

The group, who were evacuated on two repatriation flights from the Chinese city at the centre of the outbreak, are being kept in isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital in the Wirral.

The British nationals and some foreign relatives will be held in an accommodation block at the hospital for two weeks to monitor for any symptoms of the virus.

Kharn Lambert, a PE teacher, has lived in Wuhan for the last five years and was being visited by his 81-year-old grandmother, Veronica Theobald, when the outbreak occurred.

Mr Lambert and Mrs Theobald arrived at the hospital on January 31 as part of the first group of 83 British evacuees.

He told Sky News' Kay Burley on Monday: "It's quite weird being home but not being home, and also being locked in - almost like being back in Wuhan really - where we can't get outside certain perimeters and go further, so it's a bit of a weird feeling really."

Mr Lambert said that, out of the original group, no-one was showing any coronavirus symptoms or complaining about feeling unwell.

"Everybody is in good spirits," he said. "As you can imagine, it's not the best of circumstances but we're all trying to keep our spirits high.

"We're playing jokes on each other, we're having a laugh when we have the chance to see each other."

Members of staff at the hospital could be seen unloading children's toys as well as games consoles when preparing for the first group of arrivals on Friday.

Nurses at Arrowe Park Hospital ahead of the patients' arrival
Nurses at Arrowe Park Hospital ahead of the patients' arrival. Picture: PA

"Most of this stuff is coming from donations from people on the Wirral just to keep us entertained really," Mr Lambert said.

Eleven more evacuees, made up of seven British nationals and four of their family members, arrived at the Merseyside hospital on Sunday evening.

Mr Lambert said he has not seen the new arrivals and believes they are currently being housed away from the other people in quarantine.

Mrs Theobald, from Lancaster, has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and her grandson previously said that he was worried about the impact of the outbreak on her.

After the long journey back to the UK, Mr Lambert said his grandmother was recovering from the trip and added: "I spoke to her late last night and she's in good spirits again."

He later praised the staff taking care of the evacuees in the hospital accommodation block.

He said: "They're all being told to wear protection, ie masks and gloves, when they're in the communal areas.

"They've been absolutely fantastic since the moment we arrived and we can't thank them enough for everything they're doing for us at the moment."

He added that he would wait for advice from the British and Chinese governments about returning to his job at a school in Wuhan.