BEIJING: Twenty-seven foreign nationals have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, among whom three have been cured and discharged from hospital, two have passed away and 22 others are isolated in hospitals, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.
The figures were correct as of 8am local time yesterday and the two deaths included a Chinese American and a Japanese national, said spokesman Geng Shuang.
He said the Chinese American and Japanese passed away at 7pm on Feb 6 and in the early morning of Feb 8, respectively.
Both of them died in Wuhan, Hubei province.
Medical staff had done their utmost to treat the two individuals, and the Chinese side had since been in contact with their bereaved families, Geng added.
The Chinese side offered its deepest condolences over their passing, Geng said, noting that the United States and Japan had been notified of the deaths through diplomatic channels.
“The Chinese side will offer necessary assistance to the US side and the Japanese side, as well as the bereaved families, ” Geng said.
The spokesperson emphasised that China attached great importance to the health and safety of all foreign nationals in Wuhan, with effective measures being taken to respond timely to their concerns and requests.
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stressed many times that flying out in a rush was not recommended, and the best approach is to stay put and enhance self-protection, said Geng.
He added that all of WHO’s professional recommendations should be respected.
For those countries that wished to bring their nationals home, Geng said China would make relevant arrangements and offer necessary assistance consistent with international practices and domestic epidemic prevention and control measures. — China Daily/ANN