Why wasn't Hong Kong brought back to Taiwan?

More than 4500 infected: The Chinese should no longer travel abroad either

Beijing (dpa) - With travel restrictions for its citizens, China also wants to prevent the new lung disease from spreading globally. The number of infected people in the People's Republic jumped again within a day by around 1700 to more than 4500 by Tuesday.

Another 24 people died from the disease. This increased the total number of deaths to 106. Thousands of medical workers were sent there to relieve the overburdened hospitals in the severely affected central Chinese province of Hubei.

The number of patients is also increasing worldwide. Around 60 records have been reported so far, including from the USA, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Thailand and Australia. While the sick abroad were mostly in China before, as in Germany, Japan and Taiwan became known for the first time in which the infection must have happened directly in their own country.

The sick Japanese bus driver drove two groups of Chinese tourists from the particularly affected city of Wuhan earlier this month, Health Minister Katsunobu Kato announced. In Taiwan, a man around 50 years old infected his wife after she returned from Wuhan, the CECC announced on Tuesday.

For fear of global expansion, the government in Beijing recommended all Chinese on Tuesday to refrain from traveling abroad for the time being. "If there is no particular need, it is recommended to postpone the time of travel," warned China's administration for entry and exit. Hong Kong wants to close its border with the People's Republic to a large extent. All train and ferry connections will be cut from Thursday at midnight.

In cooperation with the Chinese authorities, all individual trips to Hong Kong by Chinese citizens are suspended. Beijing had previously stopped all package tours abroad. The Chinese Special Administrative Region has also halved the number of flights from China. There are eight infections in Hong Kong. Taiwan, where there are seven cases, has also imposed entry restrictions on the Chinese.

In addition to the first case in Germany, in which a German was infected from a Chinese visitor, three infections with the virus have so far been confirmed in France in Europe.

In the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus, the EU Commission wants all EU countries to take a coordinated approach to monitoring entry. Mutual help via the European civil protection mechanism is also conceivable, for example for the repatriation of EU citizens from China, it said on Tuesday after a meeting of the health security committee in Brussels.

Because of the lung disease, more and more countries want to bring their nationals back from the badly affected metropolis of Wuhan - for example Great Britain and Belgium, Japan, France and the USA. The federal government is preparing an evacuation flight to fly Germans willing to leave Wuhan. An exact time was not yet set on Tuesday. The officially unconfirmed information circulated among the around 90 Germans in Wuhan that a German plane could come for it on Friday.

The first charter flight from Japan should leave on Tuesday night. It is said to bring around 200 Japanese back to Tokyo. Tokyo is planning more flights, as around 650 Japanese from Wuhan wanted to return to their homeland. South Korea will also send four charter flights to Wuhan on Friday, the government said. About 700 South Koreans were waiting to be flown out. After their arrival, those affected are to be isolated in state institutions for observation.

After a meeting with China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned of overreaction, according to official Chinese information. The WHO is confident that the Chinese government will bring the epidemic under control, the Foreign Ministry quoted him as saying.

China had taken drastic measures in the past few days: In Hubei province, 45 million people in more than a dozen cities were largely isolated from the outside world. Flights as well as long-distance and local traffic were stopped. Other regions have also cut long-distance bus services and some train connections. The government also extended the holidays beyond the current New Year celebrations.

China's authorities have now dispatched nearly 6,000 doctors and nurses from across the country to Hubei Province to treat lung patients. More than 2,700 infections have been confirmed in the province with a population of 58 million, the capital of which is Wuhan. 100 people have died in Hubei alone. The virus has now appeared in almost all provinces and regions of China.



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