China flies citizens home to virus-hit Wuhan

2/2/2020 4:49:00 AM

China has flown two planeloads of its citizens back home to Hubei.

Xiamen Airlines, China

China has flown two planeloads of its citizens back home to Hubei .

China has flown two planeloads of its citizens back home to Hubei , the locked-down province at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak where they were greeted by authorities in full-body protective suits. A Xiamen Airlines charter flight from Bangkok touched down late Friday in the provincial

A Xiamen Airlines charter flight from Bangkok touched down late Friday in the provincial capital Wuhan, where the infection is believed to have originated in a market that sold wild animals.Health authorities in white, full-body protective gear stood by the cabin door as the plane's 73 passengers disembarked, smiling through face masks and waving to news photographers.

A second Xiamen flight landed soon afterwards carrying Hubei residents from Kota Kinabalu, a popular coastal tourist destination in Malaysia.China's foreign ministry said earlier on Friday that the country would bring Wuhan residents back from overseas"as soon as possible" due to"the practical difficulties that Chinese citizens from Hubei, especially Wuhan, have faced overseas".

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China has flown two planeloads of its citizens back home to Hubei, the locked-down province at the centre of the deadly coronavirus outbreak where they were greeted by authorities in full-body protective suits.BEIJING (REUTERS) - The number of deaths in China’s central Hubei province from the new coronavirus outbreak had risen by 45 to 294 as of the end of Feb 1, Chinese state television reported on Sunday (Feb 2).SINGAPORE - A 47 year-old woman who travelled to Wuhan with her family has been confirmed as the first Singaporean with the Wuhan virus.BEIJING (REUTERS) - Wuhan, the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak that has quickly spread beyond China’s borders in recent days, should have taken measures sooner to contain it, the city’s Communist Party chief said on Friday (Jan 31).

A Xiamen Airlines charter flight from Bangkok touched down late Friday in the provincial capital Wuhan, where the infection is believed to have originated in a market that sold wild animals. Health authorities in white, full-body protective gear stood by the cabin door as the plane's 73 passengers disembarked, smiling through face masks and waving to news photographers. Hubei’s provincial capital of Wuhan, where the virus is thought to have originated, reported 894 new confirmed cases on Feb 1 and 32 new deaths. A second Xiamen flight landed soon afterwards carrying Hubei residents from Kota Kinabalu, a popular coastal tourist destination in Malaysia. This takes the total number of infected cases here to 16 as at 2pm. China's foreign ministry said earlier on Friday that the country would bring Wuhan residents back from overseas"as soon as possible" due to"the practical difficulties that Chinese citizens from Hubei, especially Wuhan, have faced overseas". New confirmed cases also surged by 276 in nearby Huanggang on Feb 1. The move came after a more than 30 airlines worldwide announced they were halting or reducing flights to China as the country struggles to contain the spread of the epidemic. Mr Zhou and Ms Xu were speaking at a televised press conference.

China's aviation agency had said there were 117 nationals from Hubei province in Bangkok and 100 in Kota Kinabalu who are"willing to take the chartered flights back to Wuhan as soon as possible". Hubei has been under virtual quarantine for the last week, with roads sealed off and public transport shut down. She was tested positive for Wuhan coronavirus infection on Jan 31 at 2pm. This was despite the fact that Wuhan and surrounding cities have been locked down by authorities for more than a week, effectively trapping more than 50 million people in their homes after a near-blanket transport ban. Nearly all of the 259 people killed in the outbreak so far were in Hubei. The province extended its Lunar New Year holiday break to Feb 13 in a bid to contain the outbreak. Hospitals have been overwhelmed in Wuhan. She was a close contact of Singapore's second confirmed case, a 53 year-old female Chinese national from Wuhan who arrived in Singapore on the same date. AFP reporters saw long queues, with some patients saying they lined up for two days to see a doctor.

The charter flights prompted a flurry of discussion on Chinese social media. "These people probably don't want to go back," said one, while another questioned if residents should be returned to Hubei if they were not infected. She was confirmed as having the virus on Jan 30. China has advised its citizens to postpone trips abroad and cancelled overseas group tours. Several countries including the United States, Germany, Britain and Japan have urged their citizens to avoid travel there. The US has also declared a national emergency, temporarily barring entry to foreigners who had been in China within the past two weeks. The 14th case is a 31 year-old male Chinese national who is a Singapore Work Pass holder.

Neighbouring Myanmar turned a plane back to China on Friday with most passengers still on board -- including French and American citizens -- after one man suspected of contracting the coronavirus was taken to hospital. .