China to send charter flights to bring back overseas citizens from virus-hit Wuhan

PTI Beijing | Updated on January 31, 2020

File photo   -  AFP

The death toll in China’s novel coronavirus outbreak on Friday climbed to 213

China will send charter flights to bring home residents of coronavirus-hit Hubei province, especially capital Wuhan, from abroad, the Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying in a brief statement said citizens from Hubei province will be brought back in view of “practical difficulties” they were facing abroad.

The move followed Chinese officials’ announcement that about five million people from Hubei province and capital Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus, have travelled out of the region before the province was officially closed on January 23.

These people are reported to have travelled within China and abroad to avail the week-long holidays of the Chinese New Year and the ongoing Spring Festival.

The new type of virus originated in Wuhan and has since spread to more than a dozen nations.

The Hubei province with about 50 million people has been isolated and all public transport has been stopped. The people there are not allowed to travel out.

Chinese officials believe that the best way to control the virus is to trace the people from the province as most the casualties so far from China and abroad either hailed or travelled there.

The death toll in China’s novel coronavirus outbreak on Friday climbed to 213 with the number of confirmed cases totalling to 9,692.

Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 5,806 confirmed cases, including 204 deaths, official media reported.

Many countries, including India, have reported confirmed cases of the virus in travellers coming from China.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared an international emergency over the deadly novel coronavirus from China, a rarely used designation that could lead to improved international co-ordination in tackling the disease.

Published on January 31, 2020

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