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PNG Foreign Office in contact with Beijing to assist students in Wuhan
9:01 pm GMT+12, 27/01/2020, Papua New Guinea

Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said it is taking charge of the PNG Citizens in Wuhan, China in light of the current outbreak of Coronavirus there.

Secretary Barbara Age and her Senior Management Team say the Coronavirus outbreak is a matter of priority and they are in contact with PNG Embassy in Beijing to provide necessary assistance to PNG citizens.

NBC News interviewed Ancila Delai, a 3rd Year Petroleum Engineering Student at the China University of Geosciences Monday and she described Wuhan as a deserted city.

She said that the PNG Embassy in Beijing is not doing enough to assist them.


Delai said they have only made contact with an officer from the PNG Embassy in Beijing who only asked about the number of students currently studying in Wuhan city.

There are 22 PNG students in Wuhan and are currently under-lockdown with the rest of the people there.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Secretary Barbara Age said the PNG Embassy in Beijing is keeping close contact with the students there.

When asked how soon the assistance could reach the students there, the Secretary said this is a matter of priority and they are in contact with PNG Embassy in Beijing to provide the necessary support as quickly as possible.

''Our Embassy in Beijing was also contacted to provide an urgent brief to the department on the situation and also to make contact with students in Wuhan.

"The Embassy has been working on a brief which will be submitted to us, and of course based on factual information that is provided by the Chinese authorities, steps on how to address the situation will also be proposed to the government.

''Also, the Embassy is in close contact with students in Wuhan through their students' association and they are also keeping in close terms on the kind of support our government can provide, Secretary Age explained.

The Secretary also assured relatives of PNG citizens in Wuhan of the PNG government's assistance of their loved ones in this very critical time, and have urged them to remain calm.



The death toll continues to rise with over 80 deaths reported in China alone, and the virus continues to spread across the globe.

Meantime, Secretary Age said the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will provide a constant update to the country on the situation in China as it is concerning the lives of PNG citizens as well.

SOURCE: NBC NEWS/PACNEWS


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