Tom Williams along with his wife Lauren and son James are seen in this undated handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Tom Williams)

Family hopes Britain can get pregnant B.C. woman out of China’s coronavirus epicentre

Lauren Williams, who is about 35 weeks pregnant, has been stuck in Wuhan

A teacher who is living with his pregnant Canadian wife and child in a city that is the epicentre of China’s coronavirus outbreak is hoping to get out of the country on a British flight.

Tom Williams is hoping to get his wife, Lauren, who is about 35 weeks pregnant, out of Wuhan, a city that has been essentially locked down with the emergence of the disease. The couple also has a two-and-a-half-year-old son, James, who is Canadian.

Williams is a British expat and his wife and son are from Langley.

“We’re just currently waiting to hear confirmation whether we’ve got space on the British flight,” Williams told The Canadian Press in a FaceTime interview from China on Wednesday.

The family received a call from officials in Ottawa earlier this week, who asked permission to share his wife’s file with the British Embassy, he said.

“We have some stuff laid out in case it’s a last-minute departure.”

The virus has killed 132 people and infected more than 6,000 on the Chinese mainland and abroad.

The Williams family is among 126 Canadians the federal government says have asked for help leaving Wuhan.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday that his government is working closely with Canadian consular officials in China.

“We’re listening and concerned about Canadians who are right now in the affected zone,” Trudeau said in Ottawa.

“We will look at what we can do. There are many countries looking at different ways to help out,” he said. “It is a complex situation.”

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu said her department has been in touch with U.S. officials about their repatriation plan.

On Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said the government is “looking at all options.”

“Every Canadian that has reached out to us for consular assistance will receive it,” he said.

READ MORE: Pregnant Langley woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

At least 250 Canadians have registered with Global Affairs Canada to say they are in Wuhan, said Champagne, who added that officials are trying to contact everyone to assess their needs. He said Canada will tailor its response based on what it learns.

Williams said looking at options isn’t really helping people on the ground, although he understands that Canada doesn’t have a diplomatic presence in Wuhan, a city of 11 million. Canadian offices in Beijing and Shanghai are closed until Sunday for the Lunar New Year holiday.

“We’re just a little anxious and hoping for some answers pretty soon,” said Williams, who added that he and his family are ”still healthy and still OK.”

The family went out during the day Wednesday and the streets were “very quiet,” he said. They take their temperatures whenever they enter and leave their apartment complex.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No confirmed candidates in either Chilliwack riding for snap election

Both ridings went to Liberals in 2017 but no confirmations on day election is called

Greens, Liberals, NDP field Fraser Nicola candidates ahead of October election

Incumbent Jackie Tegart has two opposing candidates after snap election called Monday

COVID-19 testing lineup wraps around block in Chilliwack

Testing lineup includes seniors, children and their parents as demand seems to surge

Highway 7 still closed at Ruby Creek after vehicle incident

Highway closed for over six hours after vehicle incident near Ruby Creek

UFV to launch Peace and Reconciliation Centre in Abbotsford

Online event on Sept. 24 features keynote speaker Bob Rae and Steven Point

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Former worker at Surrey brewery claims he was bullied on the job

Human rights complaint to be heard against Surrey’s Central City Brewers and Distillers Ltd.

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

B.C. has highest number of active COVID-19 cases per capita, federal data shows

B.C. currently has 1,803 active cases after weeks of COVID-19 spikes in the province

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Mission poker player missing in Nevada is found alive and safe

Brad Booth went missing in July 13, found in mid September

B.C. unveils new cannabis sales programs to help small, Indigenous growers

Government did not say how it will define small producers, but says nurseries will be included in the policy

Most Read