Health Care

S. Korea considering evacuating citizens from Wuhan

TOKYO: South Korea is considering sending a chartered flight to the Chinese city of Wuhan to bring its citizens home from the epicenter of the outbreak of a deadly new coronavirus, Yonhap News Agency reported Monday.

Officials from the foreign, interior, health and transport ministries held a meeting to discuss safety measures for South Koreans remaining in Wuhan, estimated at around 600, including mobilizing a chartered flight to bring them home, the report said.

The government is pushing to send the flight as early as Thursday, though the schedule will be fixed later following consultations with China, according to the Korean consulate general in the Chinese city.

All trains and flights from Wuhan have been suspended, and all roads out of the city have also been blocked since last week. So far, more than 500 South Koreans in Wuhan have expressed their desire to come home, and no confirmed or suspected cases among the Koreans there have been reported.

South Korea is on extreme alert as additional confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus case were detected on Monday amid mounting concerns the pneumonia-like illness may spread across the country despite stepped-up quarantine inspections.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a 55-year-old South Korean man who returned from Wuhan on Jan. 20 tested positive for the new strain of the virus that has killed 80 people so far.

Source: Kuwait News Agency