Medical workers discharge a recovered COVID-19 patient, who is a 7-month-old baby, from the Xianghu area of the First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University in Nanchang, east China's Jiangxi Province, Feb. 19, 2020. (Xinhua/Peng Zhaozhi)

WUHAN (Xinhua) — Around 500 Taiwan compatriots stranded in the mainland’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, have called for the island’s authority to let them return home.

In a petition letter signed Wednesday, the compatriots said they hoped the Taiwan authority can allow the mainland’s China Eastern Airlines to take them home rather than insisting on sending planes over from the island.

“We felt gratified as the mainland airliner sent 247 Taiwan people home from Hubei on Feb. 3 and we had anticipated being taken home as well on Feb. 5 and 6 as previously scheduled,” they said in the letter.

However, the plan was obstructed by the Taiwan administration, “failing our expectations” and “leaving us ignored,” said the letter.

The Taiwan compatriots also expressed their anxieties. “Some of us need to work to support our families. Some children need to go to school. And some with acute or chronic diseases need to go back for medical treatment.”

Mostly coming to Hubei for tourism or visiting family, they now live in places across the province and have been quarantined at home for over half a month, with no confirmed virus infections.

The compatriots come from 19 counties and cities across Taiwan.