Thu, 09 Jul 2020

NUR-SULTAN -- Kazakhstan's government says it has asked Beijing to allow 98 Kazakh students to leave the city of Wuhan, the epicenter of a virus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people.

"We are considering the possibility of evacuating our citizens from the city of Wuhan,' Kazakh Deputy Foreign Minister Shakhrat Nuryshev said on January 28, adding that there were currently 1,300 Kazakhs in China.

Wuhan has been in lockdown with strict transport restrictions in and out of the area to control the spread of the new coronavirus.

The death toll from the virus now stands at 106, with the number of infections reaching more than 4,500. It has spread across China and to at least 16 countries.

Nuryshev said there are no plans to completely close the border with neighboring China, as that would stop Kazakh citizens from returning home.

Among those who have returned from China, four people have been hospitalized with suspected respiratory infections and are being tested, Health Minister Yelzhan Birtanov told the same briefing.

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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