Beks Returns to Sars-Hit Hong Kong

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), May 2, 2003 | Go to article overview

Beks Returns to Sars-Hit Hong Kong


Byline: Rhodri Evans and Joanne Atkinson

TELEVISION presenter and DJ Beks Walter came back home to Wales from her new life in Hong Kong in the midst of fears over the Sars outbreak. But she is returning there now that the disease seems to be in decline. The S4C personality and BBC Radio Cymru DJ moved to Hong Kong in February with her partner Rhodri and her one-year-old daughter Ela Mai, but flew back to Wales last week. ``We got back into the UK on Good Friday when the Sars thing was pretty much out of control as there was no end in sight and fatalities were rising swiftly,'' she said. ``I came home with my daughter Ela Mai, but my partner Rhodri stayed in Hong Kong. He is a property surveyor out there, and has lived there for seven years.'' Beks, 30, said that she and her family had taken strict precautions against catching the virus before she flew back to Wales.

``I did feel safe in Hong Kong in so far as I was vigilant. Ela wasn't going to pre-school, we didn't use public transport and we wore masks at all times.

``But I was worried about flying back to Wales, too, because I didn't particularly want Ela and I to be on a plane with goodness knows who for hours on end. So it was a bit of a Catch-22 situation.''

Beks said that many expats were being told by their firms to go home when she left Hong Kong. ``They were leaving in their droves,'' she said.

But now that the outbreak is in decline she is returning to Hong Kong today, to be back in time for Ela's second birthday on Sunday. ``I'm looking forward to going back to what is our home now,'' she said. ``The Sars outbreak has peaked in Hong Kong now, and although I am apprehensive, I'm sure everything will be fine.''

Among those who have remained in Hong Kong as the disease gripped the former colony is Julian Hill, treasurer of the Hong Kong Welsh Society.

Mr Hill, 38, originally from Ystrad Mynach and a partner with Minter Ellison Lawyers, has lived in Hong Kong for the past eight years. …

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