A New Zealand man who left his wife in Beijing says there are small signs of the deadly coronavirus outbreak getting worse.
Kelvin Gin landed in New Zealand on Saturday with his three children and said China's once thunderous capital city had been "dead quiet" in recent weeks.
"We sat there just twiddling our thumbs for a while and then it just started to get worse and worse," Gin told the Herald from Christchurch.
"There were just little signs in Beijing and we said, 'maybe we should take the kids out'."
The former Colmar Brunton employee said the numbers of face masks were slowly dwindling and he hadn't seen any hand sanitiser in around three weeks.
In the local supermarkets, occasionally there would be a shortage of bread or the price of products would be inflated, with apples reaching prices of $10-$20.
"Those signs were around and then you start reading the media and you start thinking maybe we should step out of this for a while," Gin said.
Other ominous signs included walking past train stations and bus stops to see people constantly checking their temperatures.
The viral coronavirus outbreak which began in Wuhan, China, had infected more than 14,550 people and killed 304, AP reported.
Most of the 304 deaths had been in central Hubei province, where illness from the new virus was first detected in December.
But given the circumstances, the Beijing local government had done a "great job" to try and manage the situation as best they could, Gin said.
Measures included limiting inner-city travel and closing down almost everything, apart from the odd supermarket.
More or less a trailing spouse, Gin said the family moved to China from Jakarta at the start of 2020 to start a new chapter of their lives.
His wife, an Irish national, was working for a non-profit organisation in Beijing and while she could travel to New Zealand despite being a foreign national, Gin thought she would stay.
"We were planning for her to come over at some stage but that's been looked over, but there is a caveat in that where immediate family can join you," he said.
"It's all a bit up in the air but her role is part of the solution, I think. She's probably going to stay over there."
The public was paying a lot more attention to cleanliness amid the outbreak, Gin said.
Before leaving, he and his wife explained the situation to their children and why they were washing their hands so often.
"They knew there was something up but in terms of concern, I don't think that was an issue."
The three children were enrolled at a local school but it had been shut down indefinitely by the Beijing government. They were now studying online.
And until they decided to leave China, the family spent much of their time indoors, playing games like Risk and Jenga.
Now in Christchurch, their situation was not much different as Gin had decided to quarantine his family in his father's home.
"We just had nothing to do, we played Risk about 5000 times and Jenga 20,000 times and eventually it gets to you," Gin said.
"But we're doing the same thing here, to be honest. I'm quarantining myself for 10 to 14 days, it's a bit boring.
"We'll go for walks and things but in terms of seeing anyone, we've been saying 'no, don't come to visit us'."
Confirmed coronavirus cases as of Sunday morning in Beijing, according to AP
• China: 14,380 cases on the mainland. In addition, Hong Kong has 14 cases and Macao has seven.
• Thailand: 19
• Japan: 20
• Singapore: 18
• South Korea: 15
• Taiwan: 10
• Malaysia: 8
• Australia: 7
• Germany: 8
• United States: 8
• France: 6
• Vietnam: 6
• Canada: 4
• United Arab Emirates: 5
• Russia: 2
• Italy: 2
• Britain: 2
• Cambodia: 1
• Finland: 1
• India: 1
• Philippines: 1 death, 1 additional case
• Nepal: 1
• Sri Lanka: 1
• Sweden: 1
• Spain: 1