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Irish nationals in China advised to leave due to coronavirus threat

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Foreign travellers wearing masks check their flight's departure information at Beijing International Airport. Photo: Reuters

Foreign travellers wearing masks check their flight's departure information at Beijing International Airport. Photo: Reuters

REUTERS

Foreign travellers wearing masks check their flight's departure information at Beijing International Airport. Photo: Reuters

The Department of Foreign Affairs is advising Irish people in China whose presence in the country is “not essential” to consider leaving in the light of the coronavirus threat.

The updated advice follows a similar message from the UK Government to British citizens in China.

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said it “advises citizens to contact their travel agency or airlines regarding available routes out before any further restrictions may be imposed.”

It comes as the global death toll from the killer disease today hit 427 with more than 20,000 people infected.

Nurses and doctors treat patients arriving at the new hospital in Wuhan. The hospital was built in 10 days as part of China's sweeping efforts to fight a viral outbreak that is causing global alarm. Wuhan continues to be on lockdown and is barring anyone from leaving.

Flying out of China on a commercial flight is impossible for those in Wuhan and increasingly difficult from other cities, as airlines around the world are reducing or stopping their services to the mainland.

British Airways and Virgin Atlantic recently have grounded their flights due to the outbreak.

Several others are continuing to operate flights, including Air China, China Southern Airlines, and Shenzhen Airlines.

Three Irish nationals travelled on a rescue flight last week organised by the RAF to bring over 100 people to the UK from Wuhan.

Online Editors