A HEREFORD man who lived through the Chinese coronavirus lockdown has sent a video message to the people of the county – stay at home and save lives.

Will Sysum says the strict lockdown in China worked to eradicate the virus and the same isolation system can work in Herefordshire if people obey the rules.

But mum Danielle, an essential worker looking after vulnerable people, says she has been surprised to see so many people on the streets of Hereford congregating in groups.

She has already lived through the anxiety of knowing her son was in the centre of the coronavirus outbreak in China and had to wait nine weeks before his area was given the all-clear.

Will, a former Whitecross School pupil, has been in China for nearly three years and teaches English at a school in one of cities in Henan province bordering the epicentre of the epidemic, Wuhan. Strict isolation looks to have kept cases in the province down to around 200.

Will was locked down in his home for nine weeks – three weeks fewer than the authorities expected.

He was only allowed out once a day and the rule was enforced by an official standing at the door of his building checking a ‘pass card’ which was ticked every time he went out.

Will, 20, says it was strict but well handled and: “It’s had an amazing effect. There are no more cases. It’s gone and we are all safe again.”

And Will is keen to make sure the lessons are learnt in his home county. In a direct please to local people via his video he says: “The only way Herefordshire is going to get better is if you all adhere to self isolating and staying inside.

“If you go outside you are becoming an enabler for this virus, you are becoming a danger.”

The message is keenly felt by mum Danielle, who has her two other children, Arthur, 14, and Grace, 11, are home with her in Tupsley.

For Danielle has an underlying heart condition herself. Because she looks after vulnerable adults she has to go out every day to work, plus she delivers groceries to her parents and does her own shopping. So self isolation and safe social distancing are important to her.

She says it was an anxious time when Will was locked down but takes comfort from the fact that the Chinese lockdown was actually only 9 weeks, not the expected 12.

“As long as people realise and do stay in then hopefully it will have the same effect as in China and it could be less than 12 weeks.”

There is one upside as well to this isolation – she says her home has never been tidier.