100 Cypriots in China are safe from coronavirus

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Some 100 Cypriots currently in China have been reported to be safe from a new deadly strain of the coronavirus outbreak as the country tries to contain the disease.

In comments to Active Radio, Foreign Ministry spokesman Demetris Samuel said that all Cypriots currently in China are well and are in constant communication with the Cyprus Embassy in Beijing.

He noted that 50 of the 100 Cypriots currently in the country where the new virus appeared are permanent residents, while another 50 are visiting.

He said there were four Cypriots studying in Wuhan but are currently out of harm’s way as they returned to Cyprus for the Christmas holidays.

He noted that these students will not be returning to Wuhan as the city is in lockdown.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is in constant consultation with the competent authorities such as airports and ports and is evaluating all new information as it is coming in.

The coronavirus outbreak began in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, in the province of Hubei.

Latest data issued by the World Health Organisation suggests that it has killed 213 people in China and infected more than 9,500 globally, most of them in China.

The virus has caused global alarm because it is still too early to know how dangerous it is and how easily it spreads between people.

Chinese officials say its incubation period could range from one to 14 days, and it is infectious during that time.

There have been 104 confirmed cases of infection outside mainland China, including 14 cases in Thailand, 11 in Japan, 10 in Hong Kong and Singapore, eight in Taiwan, seven in Macau, Australia and Malaysia, five in the United States and France, four in South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Germany, two in Canada and Vietnam.

No deaths have been reported outside China.

The previously unknown coronavirus strain is believed to have emerged in December from illegally traded wildlife at a market in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people.

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern Thursday as the first person-to-person transmission of the virus was reported in the U.S.

The WHO designation, pointing to an increase in the number of cases, indicates that international public health authorities now consider the respiratory virus a significant threat beyond China, where it originated.

The move could further heighten the global response to the outbreak.