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Six Maldivians in Wuhan uninfected: Foreign Ministry

Mariyam Malsa
24 January 2020, MVT 17:13
This photo taken on January 22, 2020 shows medical staff members wearing protective suits at the Zhongnan hospital in Wuhan in China's central Hubei province. - China banned trains and planes from leaving Wuhan at the centre of a virus outbreak on January 23, seeking to seal off its 11 million people to contain the contagious disease that has claimed 17 lives, infected hundreds and spread to other countries. (Photo by STR / AFP) /
Mariyam Malsa
24 January 2020, MVT 17:13

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday, stated that the six Maldivians residing in Wuhan, China were not infected with the new coronavirus that originated in the city.

The ministry further assured that the situation of these individuals would be closely monitored by the Maldivian Embassy located in the Chinese capital of Beijing.

The foreign ministry also revealed that it was collaborating with China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ensure the safety of Maldivians in China.

In response to the virus spreading in cities outside of Wuhan, the foreign ministry urged all Maldivians in China to register themselves with the embassy.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has guaranteed the protection of all foreign students in the country, assuring that the Chinese government was complying with World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols with regard to the outbreak.

The city of Wuhan was quarantined on Thursday, while extensive travel limitations were extended to nine cities on Friday, covering a population of more than 30 million people.

The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has resulted in a total of 26 deaths so far, while the latest reports place the number of reported cases above 800.

In addition to China, the virus has also been detected in Singapore, Thailand, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam and America.

Considering that China accounts for the largest number of tourists visiting Maldives, the Ministry of Health and the Health Protection Agency (HPA) are currently taking measures to prevent the virus from entering and spreading within the country.

In addition to the installation of thermal cameras at Velana International Airport (VIA) to screen arrivals, Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen stated that screening procedures will be conducted at all entry points for people of all nationalities.

HPA also announced that the quarantine facility set up at reclaimed suburb Hulhumale' in preparation for the recent measles outbreak would be utilised to hold patients suspected of carrying the coronavirus, now that the spread of measles have been controlled.

WHO is working with Chinese authorities to conduct investigations on better understanding the epidemiology, clinical picture, source, modes of transmission, and extent of infection, as well as the countermeasures implemented for the virus.

However, very little information is available as of yet.

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