Kiwis living in the locked down city of Wuhan are facing intensified restrictions and can only leave their apartment compounds once every three days.

Also, a New Zealander in Shanghai said - despite being the distance from Whangarei to Wellington from the epicentre of the coronavirus - that the large city is also in semi-lockdown.

With still no confirmed cases in New Zealand, The Ministry of Health and PM Jacinda Ardern gave updates on coronavirus. The Director General of the WHO said that China have 'bought the world time.' Video / AP

The Kiwi in Wuhan, who spoke to the Herald on the condition of anonymity, said since February 14 restrictions had been ramped up and people were now being restricted to when they could leave their communities - made up of between four and 25-storey apartment blocks.

They can only leave the compound about once every three days for groceries. Checkpoints had been set up at the entrances to check residents' temperatures and record details.


Wuhan has now been in lockdown for four weeks and the Kiwi said it was the new normal.

The expat was able to access a limited selection of supplies from the local supermarkets operating on restricted hours, working remotely and using the home gym to exercise.

"I'm not finding it quite hard - I'm quite enjoying it actually. You are in your own space, as long as you are happy enough to potter around and work and entertain yourself you're fine.

"The vibe everyone is feeling is we are past the worst of it. Whether that's a medical truth or the reality - no one knows but they are starting to feel more positive."

Meanwhile Daniel Adolph, 28, who moved to Shanghai from Auckland for work four years ago, said the usually bustling metropolitan city was oddly quiet and instead of hearing traffic from his apartment he could hear birds for the first time.

Adolph returned to work for the first time in two weeks on Monday after the government required anyone who had left the city over the Chinese New Year break to stay in isolation for 14 days.

On entering his office building, he had his temperature checked at multiple entries, had to be wearing a face mask and present his passport.

Shanghai's bars, restaurants and shops remained closed and only supermarkets were open.


"Because of the restrictions in place for residential compounds, it's difficult to meet up with friends so a few days have passed with very little social contact here."

Face masks were also being rationed and were given out on an appointment-only basis.

People were only going out to work, get more supplies or walk their dogs and extra security measures were in place, he said.

While Adolph could leave his apartment freely, no outside visitors were allowed in.

A friend of his needed washing done after his washing machine broke down and Adolph had to meet him on the driveway of his apartment block so he could do it for him.

Many of his friends who were also expats had not returned to the city after the Chinese New Year celebrations.

His wife Benita, 29, had been due to fly back to New Zealand at the end February to be a bridesmaid in a wedding so had brought her flight forward so she could self isolate herself before the big day. She had now been in Auckland 11 days and was unsure when she would return.

While Adolph worked in finance and was expected to be there for the local team, Benita was a speech therapist for international schools which were closed until at least the end of February anyway.

"Obviously we need to be reunited at some point so hopefully the situation calms down in a couple of weeks so she can return and we can wait it out over here," Adolph said.

Meanwhile Greg Kim will today finally be able to see his wife Lily Gao and two-year-old daughter Elysse after weeks of separation.

His pregnant wife and daughter have been in quarantine at a Defence Force training base in Whangaparaoa since arriving back on a Government-chartered flight on February 6.

Kim has been counting down until they can be released and said while they had been communicating via WeChat he couldn't wait to have them both home.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday the government's decision to extend the travel ban from mainland China until February 24 was "precautionary" as there were still no cases of coronavirus in New Zealand.

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