Ns News Online Desk: Hundreds of foreign nationals are being evacuated from Wuhan, the center of China’s corona virus outbreak, as more deaths and cases were confirmed. Australia plans to quarantine its evacuees on Christmas island 2,000km (1,200 miles) from the mainland.
Japan, the US and the EU are also repatriating their citizens. British Airways has suspended all flights to and from mainland China, as the UK’s Foreign Office warned against “all but essential travel” there.
Several other airlines have taken similar measures, including America’s United Airlines, which restricted flights citing a fall in demand. Chinese President Xi Jinping called the virus a “devil” but said China would defeat it.
An expert from the Chinese National Health Commission (NHC) said it could take 10 more days for the outbreak to peak. The number of deaths from the virus has risen to 132 in China.
Like the similar SARS and influenza viruses, the new corona virus is a particular risk for elderly people and those with per-existing illnesses. The sharp rise in cases is in part attributed to increased awareness, monitoring and testing in recent days.