Some B.C. residents are coming forward to reveal that their family members are still stuck in Wuhan, China. These individuals were not able to board the two evacuation flights sent by the Canadian government. The B.C. residents stuck in Wuhan were disqualified from the evacuation flights as they are not Canadian citizens.
Chinese Canadians in the Lower Mainland have organized a We-Chat group where they are communicating about lobbying the Canadian government to send a third evacuation flight to the Hubei province, as per Richmond News.
They've sent an open letter to Global Affairs Canada, where they describe their family members being turned away from the flight as a result of mass confusion, miscommunication, language barriers, and panic.
The letter was signed by 44 families, as reported by the National Post.
Richmond News has obtained contents of the letter, which read "The longer this ordeal carries on, and the longer the lockdown continues for these unfortunate individuals, the more danger it will impose on the Canadians stuck there."
They also added, "We cannot bear the thought of losing our family members if something were to happen in the next few weeks."
Simon Zheng, a small business owner based in Richmond, told Richmond News that at least fifty families are still waiting to be rescued from the Hubei province, with each of these families having at least 1 Canadian citizen in their midst.
CTV News has interviewed some Chinese Canadians who remain worried about their family members on lockdown in China.
Li Tao, from Coquitlam, B.C., revealed her parents, who are permanent residents, had taken a trip to Wuhan shortly before the COVID-19 outbreak.
They are both in their 70s and have been living with their daughter in Coquitlam for the past six years.
Tao is worried that the COVID-19 outbreak could affect her parents more severely as they both have heart problems.
Another Richmond resident, Amelia Min, got separated from her husband as they both tried to evacuate the Hubei province a few weeks back. Min was able to catch the first Canadian evacuation flight, but her husband Jun Lu was turned away as he's a permanent resident.
Min now feels guilty about having left him there, even though she claims he is okay.
These family members are now coordinated with the Canadian council in Shanghai to relaunch efforts to bring Canadian residents back home.
At the moment they can only communicate via video chat.
The COVID-19 virus is reaching pandemic level, with 82,588 cases reported globally and 2814 deaths as a result, according to Worldometers.
The B.C. Health Ministry reported that their sixth case had not been to China at all, and instead contracted the virus from having been in Iran, where a mini outbreak has taken shape.
It remains to be seen whether Global Affairs Canada will send another rescue flight to China to pick up Canadian residents.
Narcity has reached out to Health Canada for comment and we will update this story when we receive a response.