Three Waikato teenagers have been virtually quarantined in northern China as the country’s authorities move to contain the coronavirus outbreak, and they aren’t sure when they will get home, 1 NEWS understands.
Roger Prout told 1 NEWS his 18-year-old son Falcon and two friends Stefan Thomson and Gaganjot Singh had been travelling from Beijing on a train to Moscow on their OE.
But they didn’t make it that far.
The man says before the trio got to the border the train was stopped by medical officials, testing those on board for fever and other signs of coronavirus.
During testing, officials found Gaganjot had a temperature and a cough. Fearing he had been infected with the virus, officials then took all three boys off the train and into quarantine.
Mr Prout has been in touch with the group, but contact has been limited.
It’s understood the two boys who weren't sick were then taken to a hotel in the area, where they are still located, while Gaganjot has been taken to a nearby hospital, but his exact situation is unclear.
They aren't sure of the town they are in.
Mr Prout believes the hotel has been commandeered by the Chinese Government and says Falcon and Stefan are comfortable and are being taken care of, but with language barriers communication is limited.
Because they can’t communicate effectively with officials, the boys aren’t sure when they will be able to leave but have said officials in China are doing all they can.
Mr Prout's family has been in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFAT) and the Chinese Embassy and are currently trying to get translators to the boys.
He says although the boys have said they are comfortable, he and his wife are understandably “distraught and very worried”, and they just want to get them home.
In a statement MFAT told 1 NEWS that they "and the Embassy in Beijing provided consular assistance to a small group of New Zealanders on Monday night who were subject to medical checks at the Chinese border. None of the party were found to have coronavirus".
"We have no information to suggest that any New Zealanders are being held in quarantine at this time.”
So far coronavirus has claimed over 100 lives and there are now more than 4500 confirmed cases of infection in mainland China.