Uzbekistan Repatriates Dozens More As Central Asia Frets Over Coronavirus
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Uzbekistan Airways has returned 84 Uzbek nationals from the Chinese city of Wuhan, amid rising fears among Central Asian nations over the possible spread of the deadly coronavirus from its giant neighbor.
The Uzbek Health Ministry said in a statement on February 5 that the majority of those repatriated were students studying in China, and that "none of them is suspected of having the new coronavirus."
A day earlier, 250 Uzbek students were brought to Tashkent by chartered plane. All of them were checked for coronavirus and health authorities said the same day that all of the tests for the virus were negative.
China's National Health Commission said on February 5 that nearly 500 people in mainland China have died from the virus, with a total of 24,324 confirmed cases.
The outbreak has prompted Uzbekistan to suspend commercial air travel with China on February 1. Authorities have also issued a travel alert for China, and the State Tourism Committee has recommend that local travel agencies and tour operators suspend sales of travel packages to China.
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