Tuesday, May 21, 2024
 
 

Europeans flee China amid coronavirus outbreak

EPA-EFE/GIUSEPPE LAMI
Tourists wear a protective mask, while visiting the monuments in Rome, Italy, 23 January 2020. The outbreak of a new SARS-like coronavirus in China has claimed 25 lives so far.

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A second French-chartered airliner flew from China to Europe, carrying 300 evacuees, including citizens of France, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Czech Republic and some African countries.
The evacuation comes as the death toll of the new coronavirus rose to 362. Yesterday, the virus claimed its first life outside China, a 44-year-old man from the outbreak epicenter, Wuhan, who was in the Philippines.
All the 180 French people who were flown back from Wuhan on the first flight were being quarantined for 14 days at an isolated resort. One of them showed symptoms of being infected with the virus and was sent to a hospital for testing.
Europe has 25 reported cases of people been infected with the virus: Germany has 10; France has six; Russia, Italy and the U.K. have two each and Finland, Sweden and Spain each have one.
A German official said that two people who were flown back to Germany were found to be infected. The Italian government also set out an air force plane for Wuhan to bring home 67 Italian nationals.
Poland has also evacuated its citizens from Wuhan:  “Due to the epidemiological situation in the Chinese province of Hubei, it has been decided to evacuate citizens of the Republic of Poland. Thanks to cooperation with our European partners, Poles are currently on their way to France, from where they will be taken by special military aircraft of the Polish Armed Forces to Wroclaw”, the country’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said.
Meanwhile, hospital workers in Hong Kong have gone on strike, demanding the border with mainland China be completely closed to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. However, the government said closing the border would go against advice from the World Health Organization.

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