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Kildare man concerned he could infect others if he comes home from Wuhan

Kildare man Ben Kavanagh is considering his options in the city of Wuhan as plans are being made for the repatriation of Irish citizens following the outbreak of coronavirus.

“I want to leave under the right circumstances, but it is all unclear. I don’t want to run the risk of infecting any one else,” he told RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland.

He said he has taken the advice of the Irish embassy to “stay inside and stay healthy”. Details of a potential evacuation have been shared, he said, but he would not be upset if he stayed.

I don’t know how the situation is going to change. I probably should leave for my own health, but what if going will have an effect on others?

Mr Kavanagh said there are eight Irish people in the Wuhan area, who have dubbed themselves “The Wuhan Eight”, they all keep in contact with each other, but most have Chinese partners and families and are unlikely to leave, he explained.

“My family wants me to be safe, I am trying to figure out the safest option.”

The teacher, who has been living in Wuhan for two years, said he is effectively in quarantine in his apartment. The situation could get worse and it is expected to peak and then die down in the coming weeks, he said.

It was his birthday on Tuesday and he spent the day considering his options, he said. “I would be concerned about leaving behind the life I’ve made here. Hopefully I could come back and resume life, if I have to leave.

“It was definitely a memorable birthday.”