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Irish priest trapped in China as coronavirus outbreak continues

by Heather Preston

A priest based in Ireland has been "stranded" in China, after making a visit to his native country at the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

Reverend Paul Yang of Tramore Parish, County Waterford travelled to the Chinese province of Gansu (which borders Hubai province where the outbreak originated) for a three-month holiday in January.

China has now seen over 88,000 confirmed cases of the virus and many cities have been placed on lockdown to curb the further spread of Covid-19.

Strict travel restrictions have also been implemented across the country, which have left Fr Paul Yang unable to return to his parish in the village of Tramore.

An update on his situation was shared in Yang's local parish newsletter. 

It reads: "He and his family are safe and well for the time being, but there are still restrictions on travel. He also said that cases of the virus are more widespread in China than have been reported.

"Notwithstanding the crisis, he is happy to be at home with his family and catching up with some new nieces and nephews. He celebrated the Chinese New Year with them recently. He will have to remain there for the time being, and we hope that he will be back with us in early April as planned," they added.

The UK has recorded its biggest daily jump in coronavirus cases so far with the Department of Health reporting Covid-19 has been detected in 85 people - up from 51 on Tuesday.

The majority of new cases are people who had been travelling recently, however, three people contracted the infection in the UK.

England's chief medical officer has predicted a "significant" rise in coronavirus cases within the next six weeks.

A government campaign has been launched to highlight the importance of hand washing.

Globally, there are now more than 90,000 cases worldwide, with more than 3,000 deaths.

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