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UK govt mulls 'emergency evacuation' for Brits in China

Sunday - January 26, 2020 1:15 pm , Category : WORLD
London, Jan 26 (IANS) The UK government was reportedly considering an emergency evacuation of more than 200 British people in China due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has so far killed 56 people in the Asian country.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has allegedly ordered officials to examine the logistics for an airlift, saying keeping people over there could be a "death sentence", the metro.co.uk said in a report on Sunday.
However, a source has claimed that "a number of things need to fall into place on the Chinese side before we can make any firm promises", according to MailOnline.
The new claims come after Canada on Saturday reported its "first presumptive confirmed case" of the coronavirus, provisionally designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as 2019-nCoV.
As of Saturday afternoon, 31 people across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have been tested for the deadly flu-like virus, whose symptoms were similar to those of cold but may be accompanied by fever and fatigue, dry cough and shortness of breath.
All tests have come back negative, the Department of Health (DoH) said, adding that there were also no confirmed diagnoses in UK citizens abroad and the risk to the public was still classed as "low".
However the Foreign Office has updated its guidance to advise against all travel to Wuhan city, the epicentre of the outbreak in China's Hubei province, metro.co.uk reported.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has warned that the spread of the deadly illness is accelerating.
The death toll due to the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China has increased to 56, while the number of infected persons were 1,975, the country's National Health Commission said on Sunday.
Besides Canada, the cases reported outside China were five each in Thailand and Hong Kong; four in Australia; three each in South Korea Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and France; two each in Japan, the US, Vietnam and Macao; and one confirmed and two suspected in Nepal.

--IANS ksk/