Coronavirus update: Here’s a list of countries evacuating their nationals from virus-hit Chinese cities
A growing number of countries are evacuating or planning to evacuate diplomatic staff and citizens from parts of China hit by the epidemic.
As the death toll from the deadly coronavirus has surpassed 600 with over 31,400 cases across 25 countries and territories, a growing number of countries are evacuating or planning to evacuate diplomatic staff and citizens from parts of China hit by the epidemic.
The centre of the virus is in the Chinese city of Wuhan, and most cases have been in the city and the surrounding province of Hubei.
Following are some countries’ evacuation plans, and how they aim to manage the health risk from those who are returning.
Hundreds of South Koreans flown home on a charter flight from China were greeted with welcome signs on Friday as they arrived at quarantine centres where nearby residents had staged protests only a day before.
The 368 South Koreans were transported to two facilities in Asan and Jincheon cities where they will be isolated. The aircraft carrying the evacuees from Wuhan landed in Seoul earlier.
A third chartered flight repatriating Japanese people arrived from Wuhan on Friday, bringing the number of repatriated nationals to 565.
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Japan is making arrangements to repatriate all Japanese who want to return from Wuhan and surrounding areas, but that a fourth plane is unlikely to be dispatched this week.
India has so far reported three confirmed coronavirus cases – all in Kerala. The country evacuated 647 Indians and seven Maldivians from Wuhan and Hubei province earlier.
Britain and EU
A plane carrying 83 British and 27 European Union nationals from Wuhan landed in the UK on Friday. The returning Britons will be quarantined for 14 days at an NHS facility in northwest England.
The country has asked China to allow 98 Kazakh students to leave Wuhan.
Germany will evacuate 90 citizens from the Wuhan area.
Morocco and Spain
Morocco will evacuate 100 citizens, mostly students, from around Wuhan. On the other hand, the Spanish government is working with China and the European Union to repatriate its nationals.
The US evacuated 220 citizens from Wuhan including 50 diplomats and contractors. It has so far reported 12 cases of the virus.
Australia and New Zealand
Australia will help some citizens leave Hubei and quarantine them on Christmas Island. Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not say how many of the 600 Australians registered in the Hubei region could be helped, adding Australia would also be working to help New Zealand and Pacific island citizens.
New Zealand said it would charter a plane to assist its citizens wanting to leave Wuhan.
Russia has been in talks with China about evacuating its nationals from Wuhan and Hubei province.
Indonesia is preparing to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan and will quarantine them for at least 14 days on arrival.
France has evacuated some nationals from Wuhan and said it would place the passengers in quarantine. It said it would first evacuate nationals without symptoms and then those showing symptoms at a later, unspecified date.
Thailand said it was sending a plane to Wuhan to bring back its citizens on Saturday.