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  • Countries Declare Evacuation From China And Quarantine Plans Against Novel Coronavirus

    Special flights have been chartered and quarantine measures are being put in place by various countries.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Countries Declare Evacuation From China And Quarantine Plans Against Novel Coronavirus
PHOTO BY Pixabay
  • With more than 7,700 confirmed cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) and 170 deaths related to it, countries all over the world are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from China, where the virus is believed to have originated. To date, all 31 provinces in mainland China now have reported cases of the 2019 nCoV. The number of confirmed cases has also surpassed the 2003 SARS outbreak in the country.

    Evacuation and quarantine plans per country

    Cities in China have been on lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, including Wuhan in the province of Hubei, which is the epicenter of the outbreak. But for countries evacuating their diplomatic staff and citizens, special flights have been chartered and quarantine measures have been put in place to assure the safety of their people.

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    Here is a list of countries and their evacuation plans.

    Australia

    Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that their country is planning to repatriate more than 600 Australian citizens in Hubei province but they will be focusing on repatriating “the young, especially infants, and the elderly,” Nine News reports.

    Australia’s flag carrier, Qantas Airways will help in the evacuation. Returning Australians will be quarantined on Christmas Island, which is located more than 1,000 miles from their country. They will stay there for as long as 14 days “but that will be subject to the medical advice we receive,” said Morrison.

    France

    According to Reuters, France has already chartered a plane to repatriate around 800 citizens in Wuhan last January 29, 2020. The flight will carry people with no symptoms, and these individuals will be placed under quarantine upon arrival to France. A second flight containing people showing symptoms will soon be scheduled and they will be cared for in Paris, said junior transport Jean-Baptiste Djebarri in an interview with French television channel CNews.

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    Germany

    The country is already planning to evacuate 90 citizens living in Wuhan, China in the next few days, according to the German Foreign Ministry.

    Italy

    The Italian government said it would be evacuating its citizens from Wuhan this week. The flight will come with medical personnel.

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    Japan

    A chartered flight carrying 206 Japanese nationals from Wuhan arrived in Tokyo last January 29. Four of them showed symptoms of fever or coughing.

    According to Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, repatriated passengers exhibiting symptoms will undergo medical examinations at a hospital designated for infectious diseases. Remaining passengers will be asked to return home or stay at a nearby hotel after being checked by a medical team in a separate hospital.

    Japan is preparing a second and third chartered flight to Wuhan as 440 more Japanese nationals are planning to come home.

    Kazakhstan

    According to Reuters, Kazakhstan has asked Beijing to allow 98 students to leave the city of Wuhan.

    Morocco

    Morocco is set to evacuate 100 citizens, mostly students, from Wuhan, China.

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    Philippines

    According to the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III, there are transport and quarantine plans for the over 300 Filipinos in Wuhan. All returning Filipinos will be quarantined for 14 days, as reports show that symptoms of the 2019 nCoV can manifest between two to 14 days after a person is exposed to it.

    “I wish to inform our kababayans that the government will take care of you whether you choose to stay or return home,” said Secretary Duque. “For those who choose to return, you will be taken care of in a health facility for monitoring and further medical management.”

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    South Korea

    According to Prime Minister Chung Sye-Kyun, South Korea will send charter flights this week to repatriate almost 700 nationals from Wuhan. Citizens will bear the cost of the flight, according to CNN News. They will also be inspected by a medical team from Seoul before they are allowed to board the plane.

    Upon return to South Korea, the returning citizens will be quarantined in a government facility.

    United States

    A chartered flight with 201 citizens on board landed at the March Air Reserve Base in Southern California on Wednesday, January 29. Health officials screened the passengers.

    There is no blanket quarantine for the passengers who arrived in California, but the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they will be staying at the base voluntarily for at least three days. They will be monitored for fever and other symptoms at least twice daily.

    According to CNN, more Americans are still in Wuhan and the government is working on alternative routes for its nationals to depart Wuhan by land.

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    United Kingdom

    According to CNN, a flight that was supposed to bring some 200 British citizens in Wuhan back to the UK was delayed because Chinese permissions did not come through. A spokeswoman told CNN that the British government is doing all that they can to organize another flight.

    In a tweet, British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said that anyone returning from Wuhan will be quarantined for 14 days “with all necessary medical attention.”

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