Tyne & Wear

Jasmine, nine, faces birthday in coronavirus quarantine

Siddle family
Image caption The Siddle family are in hospital isolation and segregated from other repatriated Britons

A nine-year-old girl is "heartbroken" at having to spend her birthday in coronavirus quarantine, her dad said.

Jasmine Siddle, from Northumberland, flew back from Wuhan, the centre of the outbreak in China, with her parents Jeff and Sindy earlier this month.

Mrs Siddle was only allowed to leave when a restriction on Chinese nationals leaving the country was lifted.

The family have been in isolation in a hospital, which Jasmine was finding "really difficult", Mr Siddle said.

"It's Jasmine - she's only nine - that I'm concerned with really," he said.

"To make it worse for her she's going to have her birthday while we're stuck in here.

"She's heartbroken."

'Some fresh air'

The family, who live in Prudhoe, about 10 miles from Newcastle, were completely segregated from a larger group of people who took an earlier flight to the UK, he said.

Jasmine had not had contact with other children for more than two weeks, her father said, although a small party is being planned for her birthday on Friday.

"There's a small outdoor area we can at least get some fresh air but it's very limited what she can play," he said.

The family had travelled to Wuhan to spend Chinese New Year with relatives.

They are currently in isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral and Mr Siddle said people in the area had made "kind donations" of clothes and toys.

Jasmine said: "It's been quite a crazy experience, quite scary. It's OK. The people are really nice here.

"I don't get bored because I've got lots of books and get to do my homework."

She told the BBC she missed the Chinese members of her family and her friends, adding: "I see them on FaceTime having fun and I wish I could go back home and be with them."

The coronavirus has been declared a global health emergency, with more than 40,000 cases worldwide.

Under measure announced by the Department of Health on Monday people are not allowed to leave quarantine.

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