Europe begins to repatriate its isolated citizens in the city of Wuhan. There remain about twenty Spaniards, who wait for the Government of Spain of green light, although it is still unknown what the procedure will be. Sources from the Ministry of Health informed Efe that “a European device is being organized for the repatriation of nationals of each country”, and that among the measures that will be taken to preserve security in Europe and offer guarantees to China, is the establishment of quarantine, as already announced in some community countries. The device for Spain will take shape from here to Thursday. The first returnees could return on a plane Friday along with other European citizens. However, there are already many voices that affirm that the Spaniards will spend 14 days in quarantine in a Madrid hospital. From Foreign Affairs they assured this newspaper that this data was not yet confirmed. Although it is logical, since there are rooms prepared for isolation in La Paz, Puerta de Hierro and Gómez Ulla, which is the most prepared and the one that sounded the most not yesterday However, the workers complained that they have not been provided with any protocol.
Meanwhile, in China, concern grows. In recent days, the pathogen has increased at a daily rate of 25 deaths and more than 1,500 new cases and, according to the head of the Chinese research team against the disease, the outbreak of the new disease could peak at around ten days. Yesterday at the last minute, the current 2019-nCoV had already claimed the lives of at least 133 people and infected 6,095, while another 9,239 people remained under observation. Of course, although it advances by leaps and bounds, it should not be forgotten that at the moment its mortality rate is around 3% and affects people over 60 with more complicated clinical conditions. «It is very difficult to predict strongly when it will reach its peak. But I think he will do it in a week or ten days, and since then there will be no large-scale (case) increases, ”the pulmonologist and SARS expert Zhang Nanshan ventured. For him, the measures taken by China are adequate to stop the spread of the virus. But, before the escalation of contagions, the World Health Organization has decided to meet again today to assess whether the coronavirus constitutes an international emergency. but it has already advanced that if the foci of the coronavirus increase “it would be chaos”
For its part, the Asian giant has blocked a fortnight of cities by quarantining almost 50 million people, has extended vacations for the Lunar New Year in order to avoid further displacement and trains, buses and flights have been suspended between Different provinces of the country. Even in Beijing, where more than 20 million people live, they have started to go house to house to locate those who might be infected.
But while China tries to prevent the movement of its nationals, other countries do their best to repatriate their citizens trapped in Wuhan, the city where the infection originated. Yesterday it was the turn of Japan and the United States. The first to reach their destination were the 206 Japanese citizens who landed in Tokyo. “I am very relieved to have been able to leave so soon,” Japanese Taeko Aoyama, one of the rescued Nippon Steel company workers, told the NHK channel. Upon arrival, the medical controls diagnosed two of being able to go to their homes, where they must remain 14 days.
The other lucky ones were the 230 US citizens – diplomats and residents of Wuhan with their families – who were transferred to California. There, the government enabled a hangar in which they must keep quarantine. Precisely, each country is establishing its own protocols to contain the infection upon arrival. The most extreme case is that of Australia, whose citizens will be forced to spend 14 isolated days on the remote Christmas Island, located in the Indian Ocean.
So far, there are fifteen countries affected with more than 50 cases, figures that although not alarming, have pushed half the world to put all their machinery to work to stop the spread of this pathogen. Above all, after new contagions of people who had not traveled to the communist country were registered outside China on Tuesday. Precisely for that reason, several airlines announced yesterday that they would cancel or reduce their flights to the Great Dragon in the coming days.
The first to do so was the British British Airways which, after its government advised not to travel to China if it is not essential, decided to suspend with “immediate character” all its flights to the Asian giant. She was followed by the Indonesian Lion Air and the South Korean Air Seoul. Both canceled all their flights as of February 1. Others like United, American Airlines, Air Canada or Finnish Airline suppressed some of their flights, while Cathay Pacific announced that it would phase out flights until only half of the current ones were operated.
The president of the Spanish Confederation of Travel Agencies informed: «We are helping our clients to change the dates of the trips or to cancel them». In fact, Martí Sarrate, president of the Corporate Association of Specialized Travel Agencies (Acave) said: «We already have measures for those who have reservations. At the moment, it is only a recommendation, but people who have their flights purchased until the end of February may change the date ».
Among the airlines that are providing these facilities, is the Spanish Iberia, which has canceled a direct flight Madrid-Shanghai and was scheduled to land on Chinese soil the morning of February 29, local time, after 12 hours and 20 minutes Of flight. On the other hand, this sanitary alarm has coincided with the celebration of the Chinese New Year, which is a problem for the tourism sector in Spain. In these dates there are not so many departures to China but there are arrivals, as it is a time where they take advantage of their holiday to travel abroad.