Student fearful for family in centre of coronavirus outbreak

Feiya Hu feels 'helpless' as the death toll of the epidemic continues to rise.

By Jenness Mitchell and Louise Scott

A University of Edinburgh student is fearful over the safety of her family who are living in the centre of the coronavirus outbreak.

Feiya Hu has been able to FaceTime her grandparents, who are on lockdown in Wuhan, China, but said she feels “helpless” as the death toll of the epidemic continues to rise.

Ms Hu, who followed her parents to Scotland around two decades ago, told STV News: “There doesn’t seem to be an end in sight at the moment because there are so many people infected.

“Because the numbers are going up and up and up of people being infected and people dying, it’s just all really surreal and we know that our family is so close to everything that’s going on.

“It’s just terrifying.”

Ms Hu’s aunt also lives in the region and is a doctor within an accident and emergency department.

Ms Hu added: “Both sides of my family are from Wuhan, so all of my extended family are over there.

“We’re all really worried over here because we’re seeing everything going on – on the news, and seeing it all unfold online and on social media, so we just feel really helpless and really far away, and it’s really scary for everybody.”

As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 327 people in Scotland have been tested and given the all-clear.

There have been nine confirmed infections within the UK.

Overall, there have been at least 2126 deaths and nearly 75,000 confirmed cases.

New facilities have been set up in Glasgow and Edinburgh to carry out any Scottish tests.

But while laboratories at Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh will carry out the work, if someone does test positive for the disease a confirmatory test will be carried out at Public Health England’s Colindale laboratory in London.

Scotland’s chief medical officer, Dr Catherine Calderwood, said although there have not been any confirmed cases of the virus in the country, there is a “high likelihood” that a patient will test positive for the disease at some point.


  • Wuhan novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.
  • As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
  • Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.
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