A COLCHESTER man living in China has spoken of how he has been confined to his apartment for three weeks following the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Steve Rohan, lives in Luoyang in Henan province, which neighbours Hubei which has been hardest hit by the outbreak.

Mr Rohan, who grew up in Brightlingsea and lived in Colchester until 2015, said residents in his apartment block were only allowed to leave their homes between 9am and 11am.

“The situation here is strange to say the least,” he said.

“I am confined to my apartment and have been for almost three weeks. I can leave to go to the supermarket once a day but that’s about it.

“I have to sign in and out of my apartment complex and have my temperature taken when I come and go.”

Gazette: Steve Rohan wearing his face maskSteve Rohan wearing his face mask

Mr Rohan, 38, is an English teacher but his work has been postponed for the foreseeable future because of the virus.

He added: “The city, which has a population of more than six million, is deserted. Police have blocked the roads in and out and there are no cars on the streets.

Gazette: Steve Rohan's picture of a deserted LuoyangSteve Rohan's picture of a deserted Luoyang

“Normally it’s busy but now it’s like a ghost town. Everything is closed except for a few supermarkets.”

Mr Rohan said people were banned from congregating and must keep to the curfew.

He said he is “not used to feeling cooped up”.

He added: “People seem quite relaxed about the virus from what I can gather.

“The authorities are doing a lot to contain it.

“Personally, I am more worried about the supermarkets running out of food than being exposed to the coronavirus.

“The main frustration is not knowing when things will start to return to normal.”

So far 1,770 people in China have died as a result of the outbreak.

Authorities in China say 10,844 have recovered from Covid-19, a disease caused by the new coronavirus and had been discharged from hospitals.

Mr Rohan writes a travel blog about his experiences in Asia. He has also documented life following the coronavirus outbreak.

To read it visit www.thetripgoeson.com.