Brit stuck in China urges UK to adopt Chinese model to stop coronavirus

7 March 2020, 11:12

By Seán Hickey

The UK government has come under fire in recent times for their relaxed action on coronavirus, comparing against the thorough Chinese response.

Matt Stadlen was joined on the line by a Brit who was caught up in quarantine in China during the peak of the epidemic in the country. Ben was calling from Sian to share with Matt his thoughts on how effective the Chinese response to the epidemic has been.

"Maybe the UK should be taking note and taking similar measures to the Chinese government" Ben stated. He started by commending the results of the Chinese action against Covid-19, to which China has seen the number of new cases dropping.

The UK resident shared the details of the work the Chinese government during the peak of the outbreak. "Every city in China was basically quarantined" he began. Ben lives in Sian, a city with roughly the same population as London within a province more or less the size of the UK.

"You could only leave your housing complex every other day to go to the supermarket" Ben shared. He made the point that through this method the Chinese government reduced the risk of a spread to the wider public.

China quarantined entire cities to prevent the spread of coronavirus
China quarantined entire cities to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Picture: PA

Matt wondered if the people of Sian were asked to self isolate as a precaution, Ben stated that "it wasn't really a choice", and that many apartment complexes were shut down once the quarantine was initiated.

Breaking down how he lived, Ben shared that "you could only go out once every other day, lasting two to three weeks". He noted that once the new cases started to die down, the public had more freedom to move around and now there is more or less complete freedom to move around in Sian.

Despite having the freedom to move around, Ben added that "you have to have your temperature taken and ID to go to a shopping mall or the metro" to ensure all angles are covered and there is no second outbreak.

Ben recalled the eerieness of life during the quarantine and how it was a difficult time down to the whole public being completely isolated. "The streets were just completely empty" he remembered.