Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

Foreigners Ready to flee China, as epidemic level increase

The United States, Japan other nations raced Tuesday to get their citizens out of the locked-down Chinese city at ground zero of a virus epidemic, as the death toll

China, 28th January 2020 (GNP):  The United States, Japan other nations raced Tuesday to get their citizens out of the locked-down Chinese city at ground zero of a virus epidemic, as the death toll surged to 106 and the number of confirmed infections doubled to over 4,500.The contagion, which experts believe emanated from a wild animal market in the city of Wuhan last month, has triggered a desperate Chinese containment effort after spreading nationwide and to more than a dozen other countries.
The government has sealed off Wuhan and other cities in central Hubei province, effectively trapping more than 50 million people, including thousands of foreigners, in a bid to contain the virus as the high-travel Lunar New Year holiday unfolds.It’s deeply stressful,” Joseph Pacey, a 31-year-old Briton who teaches English in Wuhan, told news agencies
“The virus is scary, but the biggest fear for me is that this thing will go on for months, and it will get harder and harder to get supplies, and to live.”Governments are scrambling to devise ways to safely get their citizens out of the city of 11 million.Japan announced it would send a chartered flight to Wuhan on Tuesday evening to evacuate about 200 of 650 Japanese nationals.”We will also bring with it aid supplies such as masks and protective suits for Chinese people as well as for Japanese
Flight delays –
The United States was also trying to organise a rescue mission.A chartered California-bound flight with limited space had been scheduled to leave Wuhan on Tuesday with consular staff and some American citizens.But the State Department said it was postponed to Wednesday, without giving a reason.
France has also said it intends to fly its citizens out of the city in the middle of this week.Several other countries also were working to repatriate their people, while Germany said it was considering doing so.Exposure to a sneeze or cough from an infected person appeared to be the main transmission mode, Chinese infectious disease experts told reporters on Tuesday.
To prevent huge numbers of people coming into close contact with each other, China has imposed tight transport restrictions in other parts of the country.China already has extended the Lunar New Year national holiday into next week to keep people at home.
Death toll climbs –
Despite the unprecedented measures, the virus has showed little sign of slowing down.The National Health Commission on Tuesday announced 26 new deaths, bringing the nationwide total to 106. Confirmed infections also nearly doubled compared to Monday, to 4,515.
Nearly 7,000 more cases are suspected and awaiting confirmation.On Monday, the first infections were confirmed in Germany, Canada and Sri Lanka.Colombo followed up by imposing new visa restrictions on Chinese visitors to the island.
President Donald Trump said the United States has offered Beijing “any help that is necessary” in combatting the virus.But the United States, Turkey and Germany were among nations urging their citizens to “reconsider” all travel to China.
Landlocked Mongolia — which is heavily dependent on trade with China — took the drastic step of closing the border with its huge neighbour to cars, while banning large gatherings and suspending classes. (GNP)