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China Foreign Ministry confirms '19 foreign nationals in country with novel coronavirus'

China Foreign Ministry confirms
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Though the Ministry didn't reveal the nationalities, among them two have been cured and discharged from hospital while 17 are receiving treatment in...

Beijing: China on Thursday said that 19 foreign nationals living in the country have been confirmed of contracting the novel coronavirus as of Thursday, but did not disclose their nationalities.

The death toll in China's novel coronavirus outbreak went up to 563 as 73 people died on Wednesday, the highest one-day fatalities so far, while total confirmed cases rose sharply to 28,018, Chinese health officials said on Thursday.

India and several other countries have evacuated hundreds of their nationals from Hubei province and its provincial capital Wuhan, which is a major international education centre.

India has airlifted 647 Indians and seven Maldivian nationals.

An estimated 100 Indians stayed back Hubei besides 10 others who could not board the flight because they had a high fever.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying during an online media briefing said as of Thursday 19 foreign nationals have been confirmed of contracting 2019-nCoV (official name for coronavirus) pneumonia.

Among them two have been cured and discharged from hospital while 17 are receiving treatment in isolation, she said but did not disclose their identities and nationalities.

Earlier reports said four Pakistanis and two Australians have been infected with the virus.

China also sent an advisory to Beijing-based foreign correspondents asking them to take precautions against the virus and urged them not to travel, specially Hubei province and advised 14-day quarantine if they visited Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.

"Proper self-protection is essential, and avoidance of travelling to Hubei province during this period is earnestly advised," the advisory said.

Hua said China attaches high importance to addressing the concerns and demands of foreign nationals in China, especially those in Wuhan.

The Chinese government has provided timely, multi-lingual information and advisory services on epidemic prevention and control to foreigners in China.

"We have strengthened the protection and assistance for foreign citizens" Many foreign nationals in China highly appreciate China's relevant measures.

China will continue caring for foreign nationals in our country as our own and guarantee their working and living conditions," she said.

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