Health Care

Japan to evacuate citizens from virus-hit Wuhan

TOKYO: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Monday that the government plans to evacuate all nationals residing in the Chinese city of Wuhan, which has been is under lockdown due to an outbreak of new coronavirus.

“We will accelerate coordination with the Chinese government and pursue all means, including chartering aircraft, to promptly bring home all those who wish to return home,” Abe said at the Lower House Budget Committee.

“We will continue to do our utmost to prevent the spread of infection,” the premier said.

As of Monday, about 560 Japanese citizens live in Hubei Province, including its capital Wuhan, Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told the committee.

Separately, ruling Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai told reporters that the government will send a chartered plane to Wuhan as early as Tuesday.

The 11 million residents of Wuhan, the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak, have been isolated since last week as Chinese authorities try to contain the spread of the deadly virus.

The Chinese government said on Monday that more than 2,700 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the virus, with the death toll risen to 80.

Meanwhile, Abe also said the government will designate the new coronavirus as a specified infectious disease, which will allow health authorities to conduct compulsory hospitalization of infected patients and to provide urgent treatment using public funds.

Source: Kuwait News Agency