AN English teacher has spoken about his "heartbreaking" experience after returning home from China in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Daniel Mee, from Astley, left his job in south China city Foshan on January 23 - just before the Chinese New Year was due to start - and was set to begin his new position in Shanghai on February 10.

He said at that time coronavirus was widely publicised but "there was no panic".

Following the increase in cases, Daniel, 40, said the Chinese Government extended the holiday period by a week which meant he would have to wait until February 17 to begin his new role.

But the outbreak worsened and schools were closed indefinitely.

Leigh Journal:

Leigh Journal:

Daniel wearing a face mask in China

"I had no assurances when I could start my new job and I was running out of money," said Daniel, who first moved to China in August 2017.

"I also had the issue of my visa because I had left my last job and you only get a month to remain in the country if you don’t have another job.

"At this point I started to panic because I could have been stranded in China with no money and with an expired visa.

"A lot of the airlines were cancelling flights as well so I had to make the decision to leave as soon as possible."

Leigh Journal:

Daniel with his former Chinese students

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Daniel’s decision to return to the UK was made more difficult in having to leave his girlfriend, Ringo, 26, in China.

The couple, who have been going out since May 2018, lived together and were both set to move north east to Shanghai.

Former St Mary's Catholic High School pupil Daniel said: "I had to leave my girlfriend which was heartbreaking and I left my apartment leaving so many possessions behind.

"When I came back I started to look for jobs to start immediately but people knew I had just come back from China and were scared I would be infected.

"I desperately need to get back to my girlfriend and also to be able to start my new job."

Daniel, who said he received no help from the consulate or public health department in China despite contacting them ahead of his return home, has shown no sign of coronavirus symptoms since getting back around two weeks ago.

After being advised by a friend, Daniel, who has just started a part-time job in Manchester, set up a GoFundMe crowdfunding page to help with costs.

Daniel, who "doesn't usually accept charity", added: "I’m not homeless nor do I have bills to pay but I do need money to live."

To donate to Daniel's GoFundMe page click here.