The death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 106, Chinese officials confirmed on Tuesday, as countries scrambled to fly their citizens out of the city at the centre of the outbreak.
Japan said it would send a chartered flight to Wuhan on Tuesday night to evacuate its citizens, while the US government is also preparing an airlift. The state department had planned a flight for Tuesday evening, but it was unclear if it would land as scheduled. Both South Korea and France are also aiming to fly out citizens this week.
Several countries have also stepped up their warnings over travel to China, including the US, which now advises citizens to avoid non-essential visits to any part of the country. Previously it had warned only about non-essential travel to Wuhan or other parts of Hubei province, where most deaths have occurred. Germany and Turkey have released similar statements asking citizens to reconsider all travel.
On Monday, the British government, which has been accused of a slow response to the crisis, asked its citizens to contact the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, so it could determine how many British people were in Wuhan. Matt Hancock, the British health secretary said that citizens would be offered repatriation. It is thought that up to 300 UK nationals are in the wider Hubei province, where most deaths have occurred.
The UK government has been criticised by British residents stuck in Wuhan – including a man whose grandmother risks running out of medicine. The city, which is home to 11 million people, has been in lockdown since Thursday, with planes, trains and most private vehicles blocked from leaving.
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