China virus: Countries evaluate evacuation of citizens

Sun Online Desk

28th January, 2020 11:14:35 printer

China virus: Countries evaluate evacuation of citizens

Countries with citizens in the central Chinese city that's the epicenter of a viral outbreak are planning evacuations as the number of illnesses grow and China takes drastic measures to try to stop the spread of the virus, reports AP.

A look at steps being taken:

China: The government cut transportation links to and from the city of Wuhan on January 22 and has since expanded those controls to several nearby cities. Anyone traveling from Wuhan is required to register and quarantine themselves for 14 days — the virus' maximum incubation period.

Japan: Chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said 560 Japanese citizens are confirmed in Hubei and chartered evacuation flights are being prepared to leave "as soon as possible."

Evacuees are expected to include employees of Honda Motor Co., Tokyo Electron, Aeon Co. and other Japanese companies operating in Wuhan.

United States: The US Consulate in Wuhan plans a charter flight to Southern California to for its personnel and some other Americans. The plane will refuel in Anchorage, Alaska, where the passengers will be rescreened.

France: Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said French citizens who want to leave Wuhan will be taken on a direct flight to France in the middle of the week, and then held in quarantine for 14 days.France has some 800 citizens in Wuhan.

Sri Lanka: The embassy in Beijing has applied for a Sri Lankan Airlines plane to be allowed to land at the Wuhan airport to airlift home 32 Sri Lankan students and their family members. About 860 Sri Lankan students are in China.

Germany: Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that his country is considering evacuating its citizens from Wuhan, with a government crisis response committee meeting soon with medical experts to evaluate the situation.

European Union: Portugal says it has joined with other smaller European Union countries to organize a possible evacuation of their citizens from Wuhan. Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said 14 Portuguese have asked to be taken out of the city.

Thailand: Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said his country's Defense Ministry was ready to evacuate its citizens from affected areas in China.

Australia: Foreign Minister Marise Payne said her government is "exploring all opportunities" to help with evacuation of a number of Australians reportedly in Wuhan. Australia doesn't have a consular presence in Wuhan.