- British expat living in Guangzhou, China, says COVID-19 reduced significantly
By Andrew Atkinson Leader EXCLUSIVE
Hope of a coronavirus reprieve has come from British expat Thomas Magson, living in Guangzhou, China, who says the COVID-19 has reduced significantly in the wake of the outbreak worsening in Europe.
“A lockdown sounds inevitable back home,” Thomas, born in Hartlepool, who is a PE teacher at the British School of Guangzhou, told me. (Sunday March 22)
“Guangzhou was one of the worst affected areas of the country – where all this started.
“After a two week lockdown, the city and country started to return to normal. I’d say it’s about 80-90% back to normal now, with everywhere open, apart from schools,” said deputy head of PE, Thomas.
“I am working at the British school here. I spent two years living in Beijing, before moving to Guangzhou in August 2018,” said Thomas, who studied Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Northumbria University.
“Following the Chinese New Year holidays, I arrived back in Guangzhou, towards the end of the lockdown.
“During the lockdown, people where told to stay indoors. People where able to order food and essentials, via delivery apps.
“China is fortunate enough to be a very efficient country, and even at the best of times, people can choose to simply remain in their homes and get everything they require delivered to their doorstep. “Places were beginning to open on Saturday February 22, and I was lucky enough to watch the Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder WBC fight with friends, whilst enjoying a Sunday roast at the local pub – in Guangzhou!,” said Thomas, former Head of PE at The British School of Beijing, Sanlitun.
“Upon arrival back in Guangzhou, I was refused entry to a gym – as I had not been in the country more than 14 days. “Many public places in China require people to scan a QR code, via mobile (which is registered using your passport number) which can trace where you have been recently.
“This has been very important, with regards to controlling the spread,” said Thomas.
“Only recently I was refused entry to one of the cities largest shopping malls, as they had extended the period to 30 days in China.
“Temperature checks are still required, when entering public places, and masks must be worn in public.
“But at present (March 22) 80-90% of places have re-opened and the city has largely returned to everyday life – baring schools – which still remain closed,” said Thomas.
“People are also even allowed to not wear masks, in places which aren’t busy. However, in China, this is a rarity.
“As a result I have been teaching online now for the past six weeks, but I am hopeful to return to work mid -April,” said Thomas.
Thomas, aged 30, added: “Colleagues, who have only recently returned to China from other countries, have now been placed under a mandatory 14 day quarantine in their apartments. And some even in hotels.
“They are visited numerous times a day, for temperature check in their homes, and cannot leave their flat as China now aims to stop a second outbreak.
“Hopefully, the final 10-20% of normality remaining will be just around the corner!.”
Thomas said: “It might not seem it now, but good will eventually come, because of the lockdown.
“Countries will start to get the virus under control – and life will soon return to normal for everyone.”
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