Around 300 people from the United Kingdom remain stranded in Wuhan, China, which has turned into a ghost town. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps blames the lack of data for the delay in repatriation plans. At the same time, multiple countries have come up with plans to get their citizens back. The slow response time of the UK government forced dual citizens to seek help from other countries instead.
It is not only Wuhan city which is currently under lockdown. The quarantine efforts by China has put multiple cities in the Hubei province under travel ban. The Foreign Office has opened a 24-hour helpline for British citizens stuck in Hubei to contact. However, there are no repatriation plans which the British ex-pats can rely upon.
Shapps claimed that it is unknown how many citizens are in the city and how many want to get out. While the UK government seems to be lagging behind, the data of citizens in need of repatriation has been gathered by other countries. Some desperate expats with dual citizenships have resorted to seeking the help of other countries to escape the city which looks like "zombieland."
According to the Daily Mail, Ian Thompson contacted the United States embassy to try and leave China. Thompson holds citizenship of both the UK and the US. He spoke on Good Morning Britain, revealing that the UK had done nothing to help him or give him any information about the situation. Thompson is relying on the flight to San Francisco.
France has arranged multiple direct flights to get around 800 citizens out of Wuhan in the coming days.
The US has arranged a single flight which will carry "at risk" citizens out initially. More flights may be arranged later.
Japan will be using charter flights to evacuate around 430 citizens from the area.
The Spanish government has announced that they are trying to repatriate 20 Spaniards stuck in the Hubei province.
Thailand has arranged for four aircraft and medical staff to evacuate 70 citizens, most of whom are students.
Sri Lanka is trying to get 32 students and their families out of Wuhan, following which they will attempt to repatriate citizens from the rest of Hubei.
While the number of Australian citizens in the area has not been announced, the country is coming up with a repatriation plan.
India claims there are around 250 citizens in Wuhan. Officials from India and China are discussing the return of the Indian citizens.
British citizens who managed to leave the country did so on their own before the lockdown. Since the lockdown, those who remain are left in the dark about what their government is doing to rescue them.