MOSCOW, February 1. /TASS/. The evacuation of Russian nationals from China on the Aerospace Force’s aircraft is scheduled for February 3-4, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Saturday.
"Due to the fact that it has taken certain time to finalize the coordination of flight information by the Chinese side, the evacuation of Russian nationals from China by planes of the Aerospace Force will be carried out on February 3-4," Peskov told reporters.
Earlier in the day, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Aerospace Force to fly aircraft to China for evacuation of the Russian nationals trapped in the Chinese regions worst-affected by coronavirus.
On December 31, 2019, Chinese authorities informed the World Health Organization (WHO) about an outbreak of an unknown pneumonia in the city of Wuhan and later identified the infecting agent as coronavirus 2019-nCoV. Thousands of foreigners are still trapped in the quarantined city of Wuhan, a large trade and industrial metropolis in central China with the population of 11 million. A number of foreign governments, including the United States and Japan, are evacuating their citizens on special flights. Russia’s embassy is arranging the evacuation of 341 Russians from Wuhan and the Hubei Province.
Apart from China, 23 other countries, including Russia, have reported confirmed coronavirus cases. The WHO declared the new coronavirus outbreak an international public health emergency. Up to now, China has confirmed over 11,700 cases of patients infected with the novel coronavirus, while the death toll from the virus has hit 259.