New Delhi: The World Health Organization has declared a global emergency over novel coronavirus, spreading from China while the death toll in China rose to 212 on Friday — the figure was 170 on Thursday. It has also said that there is no reason to restrict international travel. However, Italy has suspended a;; China flights after cases have been confirmed. Also Read - Coronavirus Outbreak: Pakistan Not to Evacuate Its Citizens From Wuhan to Show 'Solidarity' With China
The developments come a day after the first case in India was confirmed from Kerala. The patient, a student of Wuhan University, is stable and is likely to be shifted to Thrissur Medical College, Kerala health minister KK Shailaja has said. Also Read - Over 6,000 Tourists Trapped in Italian Cruise Ship Over Fears of Coronavirus
According to reports, the virus is similar to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) pathogen. That outbreak also began in China and eventually killed nearly 800 people worldwide in 2002-03. Also Read - Coronavirus in Kerala: First Case in India Reported, Confirms Health Ministry
Major airlines that have suspended or reduced service to China include British Airways, German flag carrier Lufthansa, American Airlines, KLM and United.
Japan and the United States became the first countries to organise airlifts from Wuhan for their citizens. A second US flight is planned in the coming days.
Britain was planning an evacuation of around 200 of its citizens early Friday. A French plane was also due to leave Wuhan on Friday, according to AFP.
India is preparing to evacuate its citizens on Friday. The Ministry of External Affairs said it has reached out to over 600 Indians living in Hubei to ascertain their willingness to be brought back.
MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said there is no report of any Indian being affected by the coronavirus in either Hubei or in any other country. He said India has not put any restriction on the movement of people from China to India in view of the outbreak.
The note circulated by the embassy in Beijing said, “We are preparing for air evacuation from Wuhan tomorrow in the evening. This flight will carry those Indian nationals who are in and around Wuhan and have conveyed consent for their evacuation. There will be another flight subsequently, which will carry those who are from other parts of Hubei province.”
An Air India 747 Boeing has been kept ready to fly them back to India.