Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, on Tuesday, stated that the government had decided to fund return travel for Maldivians currently residing in China.
As a precautionary measure amidst the coronavirus outbreak, the state-sponsored travel is applicable for all Maldivians currently residing in China to return home through the national carrier, Maldivian, from Chong Qing, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Nanjing and Xian.
Departure from Xian (Sunday): 0205 hrs
Departure from ChongQing (Monday): 0205 hrs
Departure from Nanjing (Tuesday) 2345 hrs
Departure from Chengdu (Wednesday): 0205 hrs
Departure from Hangzhou (Friday): 0015 hrs
Maldivians in China who wish to return home are requested to contact the Maldives' Embassy, located in Beijing.
At present, there are over 50 Maldivians residing in China.
The government is currently in negotiations with Chinese authorities to secure the exit of seven Maldivians in Wuhan City in China, where the coronavirus originated, which the Chinese government has now quarantined and imposed a lockdown on along with 16 other cities, affecting nearly 60 million people.
Reportedly, all Maldivians in Wuhan are in good health and are not infected with the virus. The state decided to extend financial assistance to these individuals through the Maldivian Embassy on January 25.
The Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a new strain of coronavirus first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China in December 2019.
As of Wednesday, the death toll reached 132 in mainland China with 5,974 individuals confirmed to be infected, while the total number of cases reach over 6,000 around the world.
Besides mainland China, confirmed cases of infection have now been recorded in Australia, Canada, Cambodia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Nepal, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.