As confirmed cases of Coronavirus in the UK and the rest of the world continue to increase, the first Brit believed to have contracted coronavirus – Connor Reed – joined This Morning today live from Wuhan.
“At the time, to be honest, I didn’t even know what coronavirus was at that point. So it doesn’t matter at that stage [November 2019]. I got sick, I got over it and that’s the way I look at it.” – Connor Reed
Speaking to hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby, Connor spoke of how he had the virus in late November, but has recovered now. He commented on the three stages – common cold, flu and pneumonia – and explained that from the second stage onwards he felt like his illness was serious, so he went to hospital where he was prescribed an inhaler and antibiotics, which he didn’t want to take. He has since been told he had coronavirus in January.
Speaking about the outbreak in China, he added: “I believe on a local level, on a regional level I believe that there were some hospitals covering it up. But the party as a whole, on a national level – and they’ve learnt from their lesson from their SARS outbreak – so with the information they’re not covering it up and the numbers they are releasing are definitely accurate.”
On how the atmosphere is currently in Wuhan, Connor said: “We’re all under quarantine still. No shops are closed and no private citizens can purchase from shops.
“Everything is done by group buying with your community. Each community has a Community Manager and then you contact them and then they purchase things for you. It then gets delivered to your gate and you pick it up from there.”
Connor continued: “One person from each household is not allowed to leave for three days. And that person must be registered and have their ID cards with them. It is quite scary, because normally the streets are bustling with people. There are people dancing and singing on the streets, it’s normally a very jovial place. But at the moment it is very dead and you can feel the atmosphere that’s happening.”
Professor Paul Hunter, an expert in infectious diseases, joined Phil and Holly in the studio and commented on coronavirus: “I’m substantially less optimistic than I was six weeks ago… I think it’s pretty close to inevitable [that we’ll see a global spread].”
He went on to predict close to “one hundred thousand fatalities” in the UK and suspects that the spread of the virus “will continue into the summer.
“Personally, I don’t think it will disappear completely and I think we will see a resurgence of it come winter, early next year, and hopefully by then we’ll have a vaccine to protect our most vulnerable people.”
This Morning, weekdays at 10am on ITV, STV and UTV.