Pakistan’s PhD student Hassan locked-down in the Chinese city of Wuhan, spoke to his father for the last time on Thursday.
Hassan’s 80-year-old father begged him to come home.
The next day after the phone call, his father died of a heart ailment.
Hassan is one of more than 1,000 Pakistani students in China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus.
“They need me at this time, my mother needs me,” Hassan, a PhD computer architecture student, said.
He asked to be identified only by one name to protect his family’s privacy.
Other Pakistani students in Hubei share Hassan’s concerns and some are critical of their government’s response to the crisis.
Other countries, including neighbouring India and Bangladesh, evacuated citizens from Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, as the virus death toll rises.
The Pakistani students and their families, including young children, stuck indoors most of the day.
Four students said depression and anxiety grows daily.
Their feelings worsened by fears of catching the virus and uncertainty as to how long the conditions would last.
“My very dear students in China…we r intensely discussing the situation @ highest level & will make the best decision in view of all factors with ref to devastating #coronavirus potential global pandemic,” State Health Minister Zafar Mirza said on Twitter.
Hassan has contacted his university, who supported him leaving, and Pakistan’s embassy in Beijing.
He said he was told by Chinese authorities in Hubei that he could be evacuated if Pakistan’s embassy in Beijing contacted them, but that had not occurred.
A Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman did not respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
China’s Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that “for those countries that wish to take home their nationals.
China will make relevant arrangements and offer necessary assistance consistent with international practices and our domestic epidemic control measures.”
Hassan said a Pakistani official told him on Monday that all students would evacuate.
Pakistani officials had suggested Pakistan did not have the necessary quarantine facilities, some students said.
A spokesman for Mirza said the health minister had expressed concern on the call for the students’ welfare.
Chinese rules meant no one could leave Hubei, but the situation goes monitored.