Countries evacuating nationals from Coronavirus hit areas

Wuhan, a city of 11 million in the province of Hubei and the epicentre of the outbreak is in virtual lockdown and much of Hubei, home to nearly 60 million people, is under some kind of travel curb.

Following are some countries’ evacuation plans, and how they are planning to manage the health risk from those who are returning.

India is preparing for the evacuation of Indian nationals. MEA Spokesperson said, “Our Embassy in Beijing is working out the logistics and is in touch with the Chinese govt. authorities & our nationals on this matter. We will continue to share updates”

Japan will send a charter flight to Wuhan on Tuesday night. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said the flight can carry around 200 passengers, but added about 650 citizens hope to return to Japan. Motegi said Tokyo is making arrangements for extra flights to Wuhan as early as Wednesday. Those with symptoms such as fever will be sent to the hospital on landing at Tokyo’s Haneda airport, while those with no signs of virus can go home and then to work or school, but will be advised to avoid crowds and take their temperatures twice a day.

Kazakhstan has asked Beijing to allow 98 Kazakh students to leave the city of Wuhan, deputy foreign minister Shukhrat Nuryshev said.

Germany will evacuate 90 citizens living in China’s Wuhan region.

Morocco will evacuate 100 citizens, mostly students, from the Wuhan area.

France expects to repatriate up to a few hundred of its 800 citizens living in the Wuhan area. Evacuees will have to spend 14 days in quarantine to avoid spreading the virus in France.

Spain’s government is working with China and the European Union to repatriate Spanish nationals from the Wuhan area, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said.

The U.S. State Department said it will evacuate personnel from its Wuhan consulate to the United States and offer a limited number of seats to private U.S. citizens on a flight. Some private citizens will be able to board the “single flight” leaving Wuhan on Jan. 28 for San Francisco, it said.

The United Kingdom is talking to international partners to find solutions to help British and other foreign nationals leave Wuhan, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

Canada has about 167 nationals in the Wuhan area, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Monday, and eight people have sought consular assistance, which is being provided. While the minister did not rule out possible evacuations, he did not indicate there were any planned at the moment, adding that each consular request would be evaluated on a “case by case basis”.

Russia has been in talks with China about evacuating its nationals from Wuhan and Hubei province, Russia’s embassy in China said.

Netherlands government is assessing ways to evacuate 20 Dutch citizens from Wuhan, press agency ANP reported.

Authorities in Myanmar said they had cancelled a planned evacuation of 60 students who were studying in Wuhan. Kyaw Yin Myint, a spokesman for the Mandalay municipal government, told American media Reuters that a “final decision” had been made to send them back after 14 days, once the virus’ incubation period had passed.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Akshat Verma

Akshat Verma is an Associate Editor at The Kootneeti. His area of interest includes India-Pakistan-China relations and Indian Foreign Policy. He can be reached at team@thekootneeti.com || Twitter: @akshat_ver

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