The US embassy confirmed that one of its citizens died from the deadly coronavirus in Wuhan, the epicentre of the epidemic in China, on February 6. According to media reports, the embassy revealed that a 60-year-old US citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at a hospital in Wuhan but didn’t disclose the identity of the deceased.
The United States has temporarily suspended regular visa services at its Embassy in Beijing and the Consulates General in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenyang. The US Embassy, in a statement, said that they have very limited staffing and may be unable to respond to requests regarding regular visa services.
“While some limited emergency appointments may be available, intending applicants should note that on Sunday, February 2, a Presidential Proclamation was issued that suspended entry for individuals who have been in China less than 14 days prior to their arrival in the U.S.” read the statement.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials. Calling it a testament to the generosity of the American people, Pompeo announced that the US is prepared to spend up to $100 million in existing funds to assist China and other impacted countries to contain and combat the novel coronavirus.
“The United States is and will remain the world’s most generous donor. We encourage the rest of the world to match our commitment. Working together, we can have a profound impact to contain this growing threat.
According to the latest official figures, the death toll due to coronavirus has climbed up to 722 with more than 34,000 cases of infection. The US has kept the travel alert at the highest level of four and has advised its citizens to not travel to China at all. The State Department said that the ability of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to U.S. nationals within China may be limited if the situation further deteriorates.
Our priorities at this time are to protect the health and safety of our employees and their families, to provide support to American citizens here in China, and to assist the Chinese people in their time of need as they combat the Coronavirus.— 美国驻华使领馆 US MissionCN (@USA_China_Talk) February 7, 2020
(With inputs from agencies)