China on Thursday confirmed that 19 foreign nationals living in the country have been contracted with the contagious coronavirus as of February 6. Chinese Foreign Ministry reportedly confirmed the information but did not disclose the nationalities of the infected patients. China is currently battling the deadly disease that has claimed more than 560 lives in the country and has affected more than 25,000 people.
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 pneumonia, among them two have been cured and released, while 17 others are still receiving medical treatment. Earlier media reports had claimed that four Pakistani nationals and two Australians have been infected by the disease, but it is not clear whether they are among the 19 foreign nationals mentioned by the ministry.
Many countries, including India, have evacuated their citizens from China after the virus outbreak. India evacuated more than 600 citizens along with 10 Maldivian nationals last week. The citizens who were evacuated from Wuhan were kept in isolation when they arrived in the country. The Union Health Ministry on Thursday said that all 645 people evacuated from China's Wuhan city, who were kept in isolation at Army Base and ITBP camps, tested negative for coronavirus.
As per the US' Center for Disease Control and Prevention, so far confirmed cases of the virus have been reported in 27 other countries. The disease is believed to have originated in a seafood market in Hubei's Wuhan city, where animals were being traded illegally. As per reports, countries like the United States and Saudi Arabia have taken drastic steps to prevent the spread of the virus in their country. Washington has restricted entry of foreign nationals coming from China, while the kingdom has barred its citizens and residents from travelling to the east-Asian country.