Govt. to evacuate Nepalis from Hubei, China

Beijing / Feb. 1: Issuing a press release on February 1, the Embassy of Nepal, Beijing informed that plan for a special chartered flight was being worked out to evacuate Nepali from Hubei, from where the novel Coronavirus originated.

Following the outbreak of epidemic in China, the Government of Nepal has decided to evacuate Nepali nationals currently residing in Hubei Province of China, read the release.

The Nepali Embassy in Beijing has also called all Nepali citizens residing in Hubei, who intend to return to Nepal, to fill up a form.

The Embassy informed that those willing to return should fill up the form and then send it to beijing@nepalembassy.org.cn. The form should be submitted until 9:00 AM on February 2, 2020, the release said.

Medical care of Nepali nationals in coronavirus-hit Wuhan is guaranteed: China

Meanwhile, China on Saturday said that it is doing every effort to ensure the medical care of foreign citizens including Nepali nationals in coronavirus-hit Wuhan city.

China’s response comes at a time when more than 100 Nepali students currently pursuing their higher studies in Wuhan are requesting the Nepal government to evacuate them from there immediately.

Issuing a press release on Saturday, Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu stated that coronavirus epidemic is preventable, controllable and manageable.

“We are determined, confident and capable of winning this epidemic prevention and control fight. The Chinese government will perform its international obligations in a highly responsible manner, make every effort to ensure the health of foreign citizens in China, and address the legitimate concerns of all parties,” the embassy said.

It also informed that that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has set up emergency response mechanism to coordinate and handle foreign affairs related to epidemic prevention.

“It is understood that some Nepali citizens, including students, are still in Wuhan and their lives and medical care are guaranteed. Please rest assured that China will continue to take proactive measures to protect their legitimate rights and interests,” read the press release.

The embassy also appreciated Nepali side’s efforts to have full cooperation with WHO office in Nepal for preventing the epidemic. “If any need, the Nepali side can communicate with the Chinese Embassy in Nepal or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China in a timely manner,” the embassy stated in the release.

In its release, the embassy also said that the number of Chinese tourists to Nepal will be affected due to the coronavirus outbreak in China. “After the epidemic is under control, we will continue to encourage more Chinese tourists to visit Nepal and contribute to the Visit Nepal Year 2020,” the embassy assured.

The embassy said that since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus-related pneumonia, there were 11791 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the virus, 17988 cases suspected of being infected, 259 cases of death and 243 cases of being cured in China as of 24:00 on January 31. There were 106 confirmed cases overseas without death report.

“The Chinese government has given earnest consideration to prevention and control work. First, we investigated the origin of the infections and offered technical guidance. Second, we gave guidance to Wuhan on implementing preventive and control measures. Third, we strengthened prevention and control work across the country. Fourth, we spared no efforts in the treatment of patients. Fifth, we accelerated scientific research on the new coronavirus. Sixth, we worked on information disclosure,” the embassy said.

In its release, the embassy stated that China has deepened exchanges and cooperation.

“We have informed the World Health Organization (WHO) of the situation of the outbreak and continue to share technical information in a timely manner. We have shared with the WHO the whole genetic sequencing of some strains. The WHO experts were invited to visit Wuhan, and we organized experts from Chinese Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan to make field trips to Wuhan,” the embassy said.

According to the statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the novel coronavirus outbreak has become a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).

Recently, the director-general of WHO Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed that the WHO disfavors or even opposes imposing travel or trade restrictions on China.

“The speed with which China detected the outbreak, isolated the virus, sequenced the genome and shared it with WHO and the world are very impressive, and beyond words. So is China’s commitment to transparency and to supporting other countries. In many ways, China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response. That reflects not only China’s high sense of responsibility for the lives and health of its own people, but also its strong support for global disease prevention and control,” Ghebreyesus noted.

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