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As coronavirus spreads, Toronto father battles to bring young daughter home from Wuhan, China

Richard Fabic, 45, is in midst of a desperate battle to bring his 15-month-old daughter, Chloe, home from Wuhan, China ⁠— the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak.

“I feel helpless,” said Fabic. “I think any father would want to protect their child.

Along with his wife, Yunfei Li, Fabic dropped off his daughter — nicknamed Coco — with her grandparents in Wuhan in December.

Li then flew to Victoria, B.C. to start a new job and Fabic spent time in Toronto, packing up their belongings for the family’s permanent move from the GTA to Vancouver Island.

The pair left their daughter in the central Chinese metropolis so she could get to know her grandparents better and Fabic could have his hands free with the move.

“The plan was from December to March, we would do the move,” said Fabic. “So that way, at the end of this mini-journey, Chloe would arrive to a home all ready for her.”

But in early January, word started spreading of the coronavirus spreading from Wuhan.

“Things started to accelerate and we started to get more worried,” said Fabic.

By the time Fabic started working towards getting his daughter out of Wuhan, the region had already gone into lockdown and residents had been quarantined due to the coronvirus, which has sickened more than 7,700 people and killed 170 by Wednesday night.

“There’s a feeling of helplessness that I can’t board a plane to come rescue her,” said Fabic.

“I’m feeling a lot of frustration as I see our government moving a lot slower than other governments.”

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