World, Health, Asia - Pacific

Japan, US evacuate citizens from coronavirus-hit China

Some other countries in talks with China to evacuate citizens from Wuhan city hit by deadly coronavirus

Mahmut Atanur, Omer Faruk Yildiz and Zehra Nur Duz   | 29.01.2020
Japan, US evacuate citizens from coronavirus-hit China

JAKARTA/KUALA LUMPUR/ANKARA

The U.S. and Japan on Wednesday evacuated their citizens from China’s Wuhan city hit by deadly coronavirus, while some other countries are in talks with China to bring their citizens back home.

The Japanese government evacuated its 206 citizens from the quarantined city via charter plane, Japan’s Kyodo News agency reported.

"Another 440 have asked for help to leave Wuhan and number was expected to grow significantly", Kyodo quoted a Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

Japan will send more charter planes to the Chinese city. "The soonest expected to depart Tokyo on Wednesday night", according to the news agency.

The U.S. evacuated its 240 citizens, including diplomatic corps, from Wuhan via charter plane, CNN reported.

Australia and New Zealand have also decided to evacuate their citizens.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that his citizens will be evacuated from Wuhan in consultation with China, the local Sydney Morning Herald reported.

The number of coronavirus cases increased to seven in Australia, the local ABC News reported.

Meanwhile, New Zealand and Australia have agreed to work together for the evacuation of their citizens from Wuhan, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.

“I spoke with Prime Minister Morrison again this afternoon and we have confirmed that we will work together on a joint ANZAC assisted departure of Australians and New Zealanders from Wuhan,” Ardern said.

Malaysia and Indonesia

Malaysia is also in talks with China to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan, the country’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad told reporters on Wednesday.

According to Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Dzulkefly Ahmed, a total of 78 Malaysians are currently residing in Wuhan, adding none of them was infected by the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, Malaysia's Health Ministry said on Wednesday that three more people had been infected with the new coronavirus in the country’s Langkawi and Johor provinces, bringing the number of cases to seven -- all of whom are Chinese citizens.

Indonesia is also in talks with Chinese authorities to evacuate its citizens from Wuhan, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said in a statement.

A total of 243 Indonesian people are currently living in Hubey province and they are in good health, said Terawan Agus Putranto, the Indonesian health minister.

Indonesia’s Lion Air announced Wednesday that it will temporarily suspend all its flights to China as of Feb. 1.

The death toll in China from the novel coronavirus outbreak has climbed to 132, the National Health Commission said Wednesday.

Some 5,974 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the coronavirus, also known as 2019-nCoV, have been reported in China.

It was reported that a total of 9,239 people were suspected of being infected with the virus. The virus, which originated in Wuhan, has spread across 30 provinces in the country.

Tens of cases have also been reported in Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Germany, Malaysia, Australia and Vietnam.

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