France to repatriate citizens from Wuhan as virus spreads





PARIS (AP) - France's government announced Sunday it will repatriate up to hundreds of French citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of a deadly new virus.

Those French citizens who want to leave Wuhan will be taken on a direct flight to France in the middle of the week, and then held in quarantine for 14 days, the French health minister announced, after a special government meeting to discuss the spreading virus.

France is joining other countries planning evacuations from Wuhan, which is under lockdown by the Chinese government in an attempt to halt the spread of the pneumonia-like virus that has killed more than 50 people and infected nearly 2,000 people in China.

The U.S. Consulate in Wuhan announced it will evacuate its personnel and some private citizens aboard a charter flight on Tuesday.

French hospitals are treating three confirmed cases of the new coronavirus - the first infections reported in Europe - and more are likely, officials said. The confirmed cases are all Chinese citizens who recently returned from travels there.

"The prime minister asked for the organization of a repatriation via direct flight, in agreement with the Chinese authorities," Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said. A special medical team will accompany the flight.

French automaker PSA, which produces Peugeot and Citroen cars, said Saturday it was evacuating its expatriate employees and their families from Wuhan and quarantining them in another city. It didn't elaborate.

French medical teams on Sunday began meeting passengers arriving on flights from China at Paris' Charles de Gaulle and other airports. Earlier, the government only posted small signs in airports about the new virus, alongside signs about other, older global viruses.

France has decided not to take the temperatures of arriving passengers because it "provides a false sense of safety," the health minister said on LCI television earlier Sunday. She said in each of France's three confirmed cases, they arrived without a fever.

Buzyn said there was no reason for France's general public to go outside with masks.

She also said a decision to cancel a Chinese New Year's fete in Paris, which has a large Chinese population, wasn't based on a medical decision. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the city's Chinese residents were simply not in the mood for a party, given the spread of the virus.

The Chinese community in Rome said there won't be any public celebrations of the Lunar New Year on Feb. 2 either for the same reason.

___

Alex Turnbull in Paris contributed to this report.

COMMENTS

More Related News

China
China's CNBG to donate 200,000 coronavirus vaccine doses to medics in Wuhan
  • US
  • 2020-09-24 06:34:02Z

China National Biotec Group (CNBG) said on Thursday it will donate 200,000 doses of its candidate coronavirus vaccine to the central city of Wuhan, where the virus first emerged late last year. Hundreds of thousands of people have taken experimental vaccines in China before clinical trials are completed, thanks to an emergency use programme launched in July to protect essential workers and limited groups of people facing high infection risk, raising safety concern among experts. The 200,000 shots of a vaccine developed by CNBG's Wuhan unit, enough to inoculate 100,000 people, will be used to protect medical workers in the city, CNBG said in a social media post.

Heroes in Harm
Heroes in Harm's Way: Covid-19 show sparks sexism debate in China

A new drama has China asking if women are being written out of its epidemic history.

Le Sommer breaks France scoring record
Le Sommer breaks France scoring record

Eugenie Le Sommer scored twice in three minutes in a Euro qualifier away to North Macedonia on Tuesday to first equal and then break France's women's international scoring record.

France
France's Macron says U.S. maximum pressure on Iran not working

The United States' maximum pressure campaign on Iran has so far failed, France's president said on Tuesday, and he dismissed U.S. efforts to restore U.N. sanctions against Tehran because Washington had left the 2015 nuclear deal. "The maximum pressure strategy, which has been under way for several years, has not at this stage made it possible to end Iran's destabilising activities or to ensure that it will not be able to acquire nuclear weapons," Emmanuel Macron said in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. "This is why France, along with its German and British partners, will maintain its demand for the full implementation of the 2015 Vienna Agreement and will not accept the...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America