Drogheda Independent

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Football ace Aaron caught up in China virus emergency

Former local soccer star runs academy in Beijing

A former local soccer star, who has lived in Beijing since 2011, says it will be a 'very intense and scary time' if all airlines suspend flights into and out of China.

Aaron Reynolds runs the highly successful Aaron Soccer Academy in the city.

He says there is an 'eerie atmosphere' with very few of the millions of residents on the streets.

'It's masks everyday and everywhere. Things are quite hectic at the moment, but the streets are quite empty. It is very strange,' he told the Drogheda Independent.

He says he has spoken to his family in Drogheda.

'It is a lot easier to give an opinion about something like this when you are living far away from it, compared to having to make important and crucial decisions when being right in the middle of it,' he added.

He says he has been 'holed up in a hurricane of emotions for the last week.'

Large parts of the country are in lockdown due to the ongoing concerns about the killer novel coronavirus, first reported in the Wuhan municipality.

He has not heard of any significant moves to get Irish nationals out of the country.

Aaron is married to Anna Yu and she is a past visitor to Drogheda with a group of academy players five years ago.

The likes of British Airways, Lufthansa, KLM, United, Delta and Finnair have all suspended some or all flights.

Last week, the Americans authorised a departure of all non-emergency government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

People have been asked to take a self imposed 10-day isolation period in their homes. The annual Chinese holiday has been extended until February 10th in a bid to curb the spread of the disease

Aaron was due to head to Spain and then Lisbon with a member of the soccer academy for a trial this week.

Drogheda Independent