Coronavirus: countries evacuate citizens from China

by AFP / pic by AFP

Thousands of foreigners are among millions of people stuck in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as the country struggles to get to grips with the spread of a SARS-like virus which has claimed 106 lives nationwide.

These are the plans so far by foreign governments to evacuate their citizens from the epicentre of the outbreak.



Officials confirmed Tuesday they are beginning to evacuate Japanese nationals, starting with around 200 stranded inside Wuhan in Hubei province.

There are roughly 650 Japanese citizens in the area who have said they want to be evacuated, authorities said.


The foreign ministry said Tuesday it is working on a plan to transport home all Australian nationals, most of whom it said are dual nationals. Officials added they had received about 400 calls from Australians in China registering for evacuation.

Canberra does not have a consulate in Wuhan but Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government is negotiating with Chinese officials over the arrangements.

He said officials are talking to the United States and Britain about the plans and working with New Zealand on a possible joint evacuation effort.


Local media reported the Indian government will request clearance from Beijing to take more than 250 citizens out of Wuhan and that a Boeing 747 in Mumbai is on standby.


Jakarta said there are 234 Indonesians in China — roughly 100 in Wuhan and 143 in Hubei province. But the foreign ministry said Tuesday it has yet to decide on an evacuation plan.

Sri Lanka

Colombo said it is making arrangements to return 860 Sri Lankan students, of whom 32 are in Wuhan.

South Korea

Seoul will send chartered planes to Wuhan this week, the foreign ministry said, to return hundreds of its citizens to Korea on Thursday and Friday.


Thailand’s premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha said Tuesday the country was waiting for authorisation from Chinese officials before evacuating people, but that aircraft and doctors were on standby.

Sixty-four Thais — 49 students and 15 workers or tourists — are inside China.


The foreign ministry said it is discussing a possible evacuation for an estimated 150 Filipinos in Wuhan and another 150 in other parts of Hubei, but there are no confirmed plans.


United States

The Department of State said a chartered flight will leave Wuhan on Wednesday with 240 American citizens on board, including consular staff.



The health minister confirmed French citizens will be evacuated without detailing how many. She said they would leave midweek.

GermanyBerlin has not confirmed any evacuation plan but said it is considering options for roughly 90 citizens reportedly in Wuhan.


About 100 people, mostly students in Wuhan, will be evacuated, according to local media.


Spanish officials are working with China and the European Union to take Spanish nationals out of the area, the foreign minister said.