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China gears up response to coronavirus as cases surge

AT News

KABUL: Chinese Ambassador to Kabul, Wang Yu, said on Sunday that the country had adopted all precautionary procedures and measures to fight and stop spread of the novel coronavirus that has sickened nearly 37,600 people and killed 815 in China and worldwide.

Addressing a press briefing in Kabul, Wang Yu said adequate healthcare teams had been dispatched to respond to the virus all across China – in particular to Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus.

“China has adopted all necessary measures to combat the virus. We are checking the body temperatures of all people going to work or coming from their houses for symptoms,” he said.

According to Yu, over 200 Afghans study in China, out of whom 42 are in Wuhan. “I assure that we are managing the situation robustly and foreigners receive the same treatment as the Chinese,” Yu said.

He said they have close contact with Afghanistan’s Foreign Affairs and Public Health Ministries and Afghanistan Embassy in Beijing is in close interaction with relevant Chinese government departments on the updates about coronavirus.

Ambassador Yu assured that Chinese universities are taking care of foreign students including Afghan students as well.

Yu stated that prevention measures have also been adopted to prevent the spread of the disease to Afghanistan. “Arriving travelers to Afghanistan pass medical checks in Chinese airports and we advise them to stay away from public places for 14 days,” Yu said.

The coronavirus death toll in China has risen to 811, surpassing the toll from the SARS epidemic of 2002-3, according to official data released on Sunday.

The number of confirmed infections rose to 37,198, according to China’s National Health Commission. Eighty-nine deaths and 2,656 new cases were recorded in the preceding 24 hours, most of them in Hubei Province, the heart of the outbreak. A United States citizen died from the coronavirus in Wuhan, the provincial capital, American officials said on Saturday.

The Chinese government’s confirmation that the new virus can spread between humans and has killed six people heightened fears as millions of Chinese planned to travel for the Lunar New Year holiday. So far, the U.S., South Korea, Japan and Thailand have confirmed cases in Chinese visitors.

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