Patient Films Life Inside British Coronavirus Quarantine Centre
A British blogger rescued from coronavirus-hit Wuhan has revealed what life is like inside the quarantine centre in a startling video diary:
The video reveals patients are forbidden from mingling with each other, and must wear face masks to answer their doors, microwave their own meals and clean their rooms with wipes.
Patients have also been given magazines, board games and access to Netflix in a bid to pass the time while they anxiously wait for their test results to come back.
Camryn Turner's video blog offers the first insight into life inside Kents Hill Park in Milton Keynes where 118 Brits are being holed up while they are tested for the deadly virus.
Camryn, who has dual British and South African citizenship, was studying music in Wuhan when the coronavirus crisis hit the city.
The 27-year-old music student was bundled into a bus and taken to the centre on Sunday (9 February) after flying into RAF Brize Norton from Wuhan.
In a desperate bid to fight the isolation and cabin fever, he has made a video diary revealing life in quarantine.
Taking a tour of his room, he says: "Each patient in quarantine at the hotel has been allocated two rooms. One of the rooms is for sleeping, relaxing, making tea and coffee, watching TV.
"We've been provided with kitchen towels and cleaning surface wipes so we have to clean our own rooms and disinfect everything. We've also been supplied with rubbish bags which we can fill up and leave outside our doors once they're full.
"We've also been supplied with a box of around 100 medical face masks. We've been informed to only wear a mask for 20-minute periods before taking them off."
Patients were also given fresh clothes and a second 'kitchen' room which contains a fridge and microwave. Filming the makeshift kitchen, Camryn says: "We cook up our food in the room.
"They [staff] bring the food on a tray and leave it outside our rooms. We then bring it into our second room to heat it up."
Patients are being fed a choice of meals, including coconut and lentil curry, vegetable risotto, and chicken casserole and dumplings.
Describing the battle with 'cabin fever' he said: "It has its tough times. You get cabin fever symptoms. They can become quite rough during the day.
"We can still make use of our laptops and phones. I wake up, eat my breakfast and then I will lie a bed and reply to all my unread messages from my friends and family.
"I'll also have the TV on, where I prefer to watch sports, maybe a bit of comedy as well. It just makes the situation here a little bit easier. I have managed to get some really good quality sleep while I've been here so far.
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"With the healthy food that we've been given, that's helped a lot to feel better. As well as the cool drinks, we've also been given snacks. Our fridges have been regularly stocked up, which is great.
"We have had no contact with the other patients for obvious reasons and we are all waiting to hear the results of the swab tests. The waiting is the hardest thing to do."
On their arrival at the centre, patients were given a welcome note signed by the manager Simon Thatcher. He wrote: "Under these difficult and unprecedented circumstances, I wish to assure you that the Kents Hill Park team are delighted to be looking after you and your families."
Patients must abide by a strict list of 'dos' and 'don'ts' which includes wearing masks at all times in communal areas and when opening their doors.
For the first 48 hours after arriving, patients were issued with a 'Newsletter for Guests'. It stated: "Stay in your room. This is a really important precaution we are undertaking until the results of your swabs come back."
Patients were warned they could face further detention in the centre if they left their rooms without a staff chaperone.
Medics carry out a 'daily symptom check' by texting patients to check if they are displaying any of signs of the virus which include a fever, cough and breathing difficulties.
Patients are also told to dial 999 if they feel unwell and 'inform them that you have returned from Wuhan in China'. As well as the strict isolation rules, patients are given a choice of meals and can order shopping by calling reception.
Protective masks were in such short supply, Camryn was forced to make a homemade one using a plastic bottle before dashing to the shop for food and supplies.
He said: "In the initial outbreak in January, we got updates from word of mouth and not the state news. I remember I went out to stock up on food on January 22 and all of a sudden we were told we have to wear masks all the time.
"I went into two of my local pharmacies and they said they don't have any left in stock. It just happened so quickly. Wuhan itself was running smoothly then it immediately went into lockdown.
"I spent 14 days in Wuhan, China, locked in my apartment. One night I phoned my parents and I just had the most extreme panic attack. I must have spent a total of about one and a half hours, in those two weeks, going outdoors quickly to stock up on food. So that was quite an experience. It was not easy at all.
"Also knowing, just outside your apartment windows, there is a deadly virus going around, was really really scary."
Camryn managed to get on the last available plane headed to the UK last weekend. He said: "When we touched down we were put on buses and told we'd be going to a quarantine centre. We filled out the necessary documentation such as medical information, personal information.
"We were then called out in groups of four to go for a swab test. This was the only part where I have been scared and got really freaked out. It involved the medical staff using extended earbuds and they took samples from our nostrils, as well as the back of our mouths.
"That process was done twice. We were given our room numbers and our keys. Basically, we've all been in our rooms since then. I think I've been handling the situation well so far.
"We've been looked after so well. The first 48 hours of quarantine, we have to be put in full isolation in our bedrooms, so minimal human to human contact.
"There are times of frustration, just knowing that this is a whole process on its own again, but it's for the best just to make sure that everyone is safe."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS