United Kingdom tells citizens to leave China over coronavirus fears

Cheryl Sanders
February 5, 2020

As per reports, the White House on Monday said China has finally agreed to accept the offer to have health experts from the U.S. as part of a World Health Organization (WHO) mission to study and help combat the virus.

The decision of the Indian government came in the wake of the rapid spread of coronavirus outbreak which originated in China's Wuhan province.

This statement has prompted government concern relating to the safety of Irish citizens in the event they try to leave as the situation worsens.

China on Monday accused the USA of spreading fear by pulling its citizens out and severely restricting travel.

However, Irish people who have family, jobs and home obligations are expected to stay in China despite the lockdown of many areas and the infection of more than 20,000 with the virus and a death toll of 427.

"We now advise British nationals in China to leave the country if they can, to minimise their risk of exposure to the virus", said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab per the BBC.

Commercial airline options remain available throughout China, the UK Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an updated travel warning notice, with the exception of Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak that includes the city of Wuhan.

'Where there are still British nationals in Hubei province who wish to be evacuated, we will continue to work around the clock to facilitate this'.

Efforts to track down and assess the travellers, who left Wuhan after the virus emerged, began last week as the crisis intensified, leading British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to suspend UK-China flights.

Several others are continuing to operate flights, including Air China, China Southern Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines.

A total of 94 United Kingdom nationals and family members have been evacuated to Britain from Wuhan on two flights which arrived on Friday and Sunday.

See PA story HEALTH Coronavirus.

'We have a full plan in place to treat all those who have symptoms and test positively for coronavirus and we are working with global partners both to slow the spread and also to do the research that we need to do to find a vaccine'.

In all, Europe has 28 confirmed cases of the coronavirus: Germany has 12; France six; Russia, Italy and the U.K have two each and Finland, Sweden, Spain and Belgium have one each.

They said: "If you're in China and able to leave, you should do so".

More than 50 million people remain under travel restrictions in Hubei.

One passenger was taken to hospital in Oxford after telling medics he had symptoms of a cough and a cold.

The rest of those who came back are in quarantine at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.

The UK's recent step to order UK nationals to leave China follows in the footsteps of earlier moves made by other countries like the US. The health ministry said the person was in good health and didn't show any symptoms of the disease.

Dr. David Heymann, who directed the World Health Organization's response to the SARS outbreak, said it was too early to know when the virus outbreak would come, but it seemed that the disease was still on the rise.

Other reports by iNewsToday