North Carolinians with family abroad concerned amid coronavirus outbreak

Wake County News

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The number of coronavirus cases continues to rise across the globe, and many North Carolinians are growing concerned for their loved ones living abroad.

After leaving North Carolina in 2014, Ashley Roop moved across the pond to the island nation of Singapore for one reason.

“I’m a teacher over here,” said Ashley Roop. “I work with pre-school kids.”

Despite dozens of cases of coronavirus in Singapore, she admits she hadn’t thought much of the outbreak until a recent incident in class.

“I had a cough and a bit of a stuffy nose, just a common cold, nothing big,” said Roop. “The teacher is a Chinese-Singaporean and she looked over very shocked. She was like get a mask! She gave me a mask and made me put it on.”

Singapore recently upped their alert level to orange, meaning the disease is severe and spreads easily, and Roop says she immediately noticed a change in the mood around the island nation.

“I think people are panicking a bit,” said Roop.

Overnight she says the store shelves went bare as locals started stockpiling the essentials.

“The government has set limits on toilet paper, noodles, and rice which are the basic things you would need,” said Roop. “There’s a shortage right now and it’s hard to get facemasks.”

Since the CDC doesn’t’ believe facemasks prevent the spread of coronavirus, Roop says she’s not concerned and wants her loved ones back home to keep one thing in mind.

“There’s really no reason to panic,” said Roop. “We’re on a tiny island of 5-million and only 50 people have got it. There are fewer chances in the US, so I think your chances are pretty good.”

Roop says that if the threat level reaches red the government will cancel school, and order everyone to work from home.

At this time Singapore has shut down all incoming flights from China.

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