Egypt conducts census of its citizens in China's coronavirus heavily-hit Zhejiang, not for evacuation purposes

Ahram Online , Saturday 8 Feb 2020

The consulate said the census will facilitate communication with Egyptians residing in the second worst-hit province

People wearing masks buy foods at a supermarket in Hangzhou in east China's Zhejiang province, Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020 (Photo: AP)

Egypt said conducting a census of Egyptians living in the coastal province of Zhejiang was not for evacuation purposes, a statement by the consulate in Shanghai read on Saturday, as China locked down the province after it became the second worst-hit by the coronavirus epidemic in the country.

The Egyptian Consulate has asked Egyptians residing in Zhejiang to send their personal information, including passport number, home address in China and telephone number.

The consulate stressed the move aims to "count and not evacuate" citizens, adding that the count will facilitate communication with Egyptians residing in the province and present urgent consulate services after the coronavirus outbreak.

As of 4 February, Zhejiang has had over 800 confirmed coronavirus infections, the second highest in the country after Hubei's Wuhan, where the epidemic originated.

Egypt has already sent back home last week its citizens from Wuhan, placing them in a quarantine to contain the spread of the virus.

The fast-spreading virus first surfaced in December in the Chinese city of Wuhan, killing over 700 people in China, one in the Philippines so far and infecting more than 31,000, mostly in China.

World Health Organisation figures show that the virus has affected at least 28 countries, many of them in Asia, and has reached as far as the United States and Australia. 

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