A grandmother with breathing problems and a limited supply of medicine is stuck in China and unable to return home following the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus.

Veronica Theobald, from Lancaster, was due to fly back to England on Monday after visiting her son Kharn Lambert who has lived Wuhan for the past five years.

The 81-year-old has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and hasn’t left the house she is staying in for more than a week over fears she could fall ill.

Mr Lambert, a PE teacher said: ‘There is no knowing how long she will have to stay here, and I’m worried about her running out of the medication she needs for her health so I’m in constant contact with the British embassy.

‘I do worry if I have to go out for whatever reason that I will bring something back into the house and she will become infected and fall ill.

‘She only brought enough medication for her time here plus an extra week in case of any flight delays etc. But nothing can prepare you for this.



‘My family at home are extremely concerned about her, but I’m trying hard to reassure them that I am taking the best care of her as I can.’

Mr Lambert said the embassy had put them in touch with a doctor who will be following up on his grandmother’s health after the weekend.

He claimed hysteria had begun to descend on the city in the last 24 hours, due the short time people were given to prepare for the lockdown.

However, he added that supermarkets which had been cleared of stock had since been resupplied.

He said: ‘Due to the hysteria caused by the lockdown yesterday, it was difficult to get food and any food that was available had been increased in price.’

The Chinese government has shut transportation in at least 10 cities around Wuhan, affecting 33 million people as efforts to stop the spread of the disease intensify.

Many public events are being cancelled and major tourist attractions such as the Forbidden City and Disneyland shut.

The World Health Organisation has not declared the outbreak a global emergency.