A British dad trapped in Wuhan with his pregnant wife and young son has issued a heartfelt plea for help, saying he fears for his unborn child.

Teacher Tom Williams is anxious that wife Lauren will not be able to get to a maternity hospital in the city, where the deadly coronavirus originated, because roads are closed.

He has called on Britain and Canada, where Lauren was born, to step in and help.

Lauren is 35 weeks pregnant, but the couple are unable to leave because they are quarantined in the city.

He said he is also anxious for the couple's two-year-old son James, who he is desperate to get out of Wuhan.

Britain and Canada have urged citizens to leave, but Tom said this has proved impossible.

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Medical staff accompany a patient to a hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province where the coronavirus originated

In a letter posted on Twitter, he wrote: "We are requesting that either the Canadian or British Government looks to help evacuate us.

"Advice from emergency consulate assistance in both Ottawa and London so far is that we should leave if we can... However they have given no practical steps for how to do that."

His post continues: "We are happy to be quarantined in Canada or the UK to guarantee the safety of citizens there, but I also want to ensure the safety of my wife, son and unborn child.

"If I have to stay behind so be it. My family is my number one priority."

China's President Xi Jinping has described the virus as a "devil", with more than 130 people dead in the country since the outbreak.

British Airways has halted flights to Beijing and Shanghai as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

It comes after the Foreign Office urged citizens not to travel to mainland China.

The airline has suspended bookings on its website for direct flights from London to Beijing and Shanghai until March.

A patient with suspected coronavirus arrives at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital
A patient with suspected coronavirus arrives at the Wuhan Red Cross Hospital

BA's website shows no direct flights to China are available in January and February.

In a statement, British Airways said: "We have suspended all flights to and from mainland China with immediate effect following advice from the Foreign Office against all but essential travel.

"We apologise to customers for the inconvenience, but the safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.

"Customers due to travel to or from China in the coming days can find more information on ba.com."

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Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said officials are "working urgently to finalise arrangements for an assisted departure from Hubei Province for British nationals this week, and are in contact with people in Hubei to ensure they register their interest and that we can keep them updated".

He added: "Due to the increasing travel restrictions and the public health situation, we now advise against all but essential travel to China."