February 6, 2020 / 7:06 AM / 17 days ago

Countries evacuating nationals from China coronavirus areas

(Reuters) -

FILE PHOTO: An aircraft, chartered by the U.S. State Department to evacuate Americans from the novel coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, prepares to unload after arriving at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, California, U.S., February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Denis Poroy

A growing number of countries around the world are evacuating or planning to evacuate diplomatic staff and citizens from parts of China hit by the new coronavirus.

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

- In the United States, another 350 American evacuees from Wuhan, the city in China’s Hubei province that is the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, were placed under quarantine at two military bases in California. That brings to 540 the number of people subject to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s first public health quarantine in 50 years.

- Uzbekistan has evacuated 251 people from China amid the coronavirus outbreak and quarantined them on arrival in Tashkent, the Central Asian nation’s state airline said.

- A plane load of New Zealanders, Australians and Pacific Islanders evacuated from China’s Wuhan city arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on Wednesday, where they will be quarantined to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, officials said.

- Taiwan has evacuated the first batch of an estimated 500 Taiwanese stranded in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

- Brazil on Tuesday obtained authorization from China to fly two planes to the city of Wuhan to evacuate Brazilian citizens who asked to be repatriated.

- Italy flew back 56 nationals from Wuhan to Rome on Feb. 3. The group will spend two weeks in quarantine in a military hospital, the government said.

- Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said 243 citizens and permanent residents evacuated Wuhan on Monday on an Australian government-chartered aircraft.

- Saudi Arabia has evacuated 10 students from Wuhan, Saudi state television reported on Sunday.

- On Sunday, Indonesia’s government flew 243 Indonesians from China’s Hubei province and placed them under quarantine at a military base on the sparsely populated Natuna Besar island northwest of Borneo.

- South Korea flew 368 people home on a charter flight that arrived on Friday. A second chartered flight departed Seoul for Wuhan on Friday, with plans to evacuate around 350 more South Korean citizens.

- Japan chartered a third flight to repatriate Japanese people, which arrived from Wuhan on Friday, bringing the number of repatriated nationals to 565. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Japan is making arrangements to repatriate all Japanese who want to return from Wuhan and surrounding areas, but that a fourth plane is unlikely to be dispatched this week.

- A plane carrying 83 British and 27 European Union nationals from Wuhan landed in Britain on Friday. The returning Britons will be quarantined for 14 days at an NHS facility in northwest England.

- Kazakhstan has evacuated 83 of its citizens, mostly students, from Wuhan.

- German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that a military plane would be leaving for China shortly to evacuate more than 100 German citizens.

- Morocco will evacuate 100 citizens, mostly students, from around Wuhan.

- Spain’s government is working with China and the European Union to repatriate its nationals.

- Canada evacuated its first group of 176 citizens from Wuhan to an Ontario air force base early on Friday, according to the Globe and Mail newspaper. The country’s foreign minister said a second group should arrive later on Friday after changing planes in Vancouver. All evacuees will be quarantined on the base for two weeks.

- Russia said it would begin moving its citizens out of China via its Far Eastern region on Feb. 1, regional authorities said. It plans to evacuate more than 600 Russian citizens currently in Hubei province, Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova said. A first Russian military plane took off on Tuesday to evacuate Russian citizens from Wuhan, the RIA news agency reported.

- The Netherlands is preparing the voluntary evacuation of 20 Dutch nationals and their families from Hubei Province, Foreign Minister Stef Blok said in a letter to parliament. The Netherlands is finalising arrangements with EU partners and Chinese authorities.

- France has evacuated some nationals from Wuhan and said it would place the passengers in quarantine. It said it would first evacuate nationals without symptoms and then those showing symptoms at a later, unspecified date.

- Swiss authorities said they hope to have about 10 citizens join the French evacuation of nationals from China.

- A plane brought 138 Thai nationals home from Wuhan on Tuesday. They waved from specially laid on buses as they headed off to two weeks in quarantine to ensure they are free from the disease.

Compiled by Aditya Soni; Editing by Susan Fenton

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