Countries are Evacuating Citizens from Wuhan as Coronavirus Spreads

Credit: REUTERS/David Stanway

Many countries are considering evacuating their citizens from parts of China amid the virus outbreak.

Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak has been quarantined, leaving many citizens as well as foreign nationals stranded. As the number of illnesses grow, China is taking drastic measures to try and stop the virus from spreading any further. Other countries are taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of their own citizens.

Japan’s chief government spokesman Yoshihide Suga said 560 Japanese citizens are confirmed in Hubei. The Japanese Embassy is preparing chartered evacuation flights to leave “as soon as possible” to evacuate those in Wuhan. The U.S. consulate in Wuhan is also planning a chartered flight to evacuate its personnel and some other Americans. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing said that because there is limited capacity on the flight to San Francisco, priority will be given to individuals “at greater risk from coronavirus.”

France is directing French citizens who want to leave Wuhan to take a direct flight to France in the middle of the week. They will be held in quarantine for 14 days before being released.

Sri Lanka has already applied for Sri Lankan Airlines to be allowed to land at the Wuhan airport to bring home 32 Sri Lankan students and their family members. Australia is currently “exploring all opportunities” to help evacuate its citizens.

Germany’s government crisis response committee will be meeting with medical experts to evaluate the situation. Thailand’s Defense Ministry is ready to evacuate its citizens from affected areas in China and is waiting on the Chinese government for permission.

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