An Irish teacher under quarantine in a British hospital says the accommodation he has been placed in is lovely and much nicer than he could have hoped for. 

Ben Kavanagh, from Co Kildare, was among a group of 110 who were airlifted from Wuhan in China - considered ground zero for the novel coronavirus outbreak. 

There were two other Irish on the Spanish flight which landed at the RAF base at Brize Norton in Oxfordshire on Friday. 

83 British citizens were also on board, along with other nationalities. The Irish and British were taken by coach to Arrowe Park hospital in Birkenhead near Liverpool where they will spend 14 days in quarantine.

Mr Kavanagh, a psychology teacher who had been living and working in Wuhan, said the journey to the UK took 40 hours, and the group did not know what to expect. 


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He said he was pleasantly surprised at the living quarters at Arrow Park, which he described as like university housing for nursing students, adding they had had televisions and internet access.

"Each person has their own bedroom and each bedroom has its own ensuite and four bedrooms share a kitchen like in university. It is lovely."

Mr Kavanagh said if he wanted, he could stay in his room and receive all his meals, but he said there is also a common room where those who have been quarantined can mix, though they are required to wear a mask there at all times. 

He said he had just come back from a game of pool, where the players were also asked to wear gloves.

He said that when newspapers were delivered this morning, they were asked not to share them, but to take a copy each.

He added that he is also in regular contact with his family.

Mr Kavanagh said that quarantine was less lonely than Wuhan - where he was in self-imposed quarantine since the restrictions were put in place.

The outbreak of this strain of coronavirus has been traced to a market in the city, where wild animals were on sale. 

While Mr Kavanagh hopes that all those in quarantine will be released in 14 days, he is still conscious of people in Wuhan, which had been his adopted home. 

"We can only hope that soon this virus can be contained and everyone in China and the rest of the world who's infected, can make a full recovery".