Latvian citizen to be repatriated from Wuhan, China

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The only known Latvian citizen in the Chinese city of Wuhan plans to return to Latvia with the help of France through Paris, according to State Emergency Medical Service (NPMP) Director Liene Cipule on January 28.

The citizen had been studying in Wuhan and expressed to the Consular Department that they would like to be repatriated. It will take at least two weeks to return to Latvia, as the special flight organized by France will be quarantined after landing in Paris, where they will be under observation for signs of the coronavirus that has several Chinese cities on lockdown.

Foreign Affairs Ministry representative Guna Japiņa confirmed that 67 Latvian citizens have declared that they are living in China, as well as 80 people who are traveling. The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (SPKC) has received many calls concerning the virus, including what to do if a neighbor returns from China. The answer is not to worry if the person wasn't in Wuhan.

The NMPD has decided to inquire about recent travel if any person calls asking about the coronavirus symptoms. The only cases deemed suspicious would be for those returning from Wuhan, in which case medics would visit the patient with protective gear. Residents of Latvia are once again reminded to visit a doctor if they start to feel ill.

As previously reported, the SPKC Infectious Disease Risk Analysis Department Director Jurijs Perevoščikovs told Latvian Radio on January 22 that there is a low risk posed to Latvian residents from the respiratory coronavirus outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan (population 11 million).

Also reported, Latvia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 24 updated its advice to travellers planning to visit China as concerns grow about the outbreak of a new dangerous strain of coronavirus. Official advice on the MFA webpage says: "In connection with the new outbreak of an unknown coronavirus of unknown origin in China, we encourage travelers to carefully read the "Health" section [of the MFA travel app] and follow the media to find out which regions and cities in China are subject to quarantine and travel (entry/exit) restrictions."

The World Health Organization has issued a warning about the outbreak of a new coronavirus of unknown origin in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Information on the coronavirus and the recommendations for preventive measures posted on the website of the Center for Disease Prevention and Control. Travelers from China who have experienced the symptoms of this infection (fever, breathing difficulties) during or after their return to the country are encouraged to seek medical advice and information about their travel and contacts.

Further information can also be found on the website of the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Anyone requiring consular assistance can call the Embassy of Latvia in China on +86 10 853 230 09 or the Consular Department in Riga: +371 26 33 77 11, or email [email protected].

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