UAE evacuates Yemeni students from China
The United Arab Emirates has helped in the evacuation of Yemeni students who were stranded in Wuhan, the Chinese city where the deadly coronavirus originated from.
A post on the foreign ministry's official Twitter account on 19 February quoted Muhammad al-Hadrami as thanking the UAE for its help in the matter.
“We thank the sisterly country of the United Arab Emirates for cooperation and assistance in the process of evacuating our Yemeni students in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus epidemic is prevalent” al-Hadrami said on the Yemen foreign ministry official Twitter feed.
Al-Hadrami also thanked the Gulf state for making arrangements to receive the Yemeni students and placing them in temporary quarantine in the Emirates before returning them to the homeland.
Ahead of the evacuation, local Yemeni media said 187 Yemeni students and their families are currently under the lockdown imposed by the authorities in Wuhan.
In the aftermath of the outbreak of the virus, Yemeni activists shared videos on social media purportedly showing some of the students wearing protective face masks and appealing to the Yemeni government to evacuate them. One said: "Nobody is taking any notice of us; all of the communities have evacuated their students except for the Yemeni students."
Meanwhile in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Gulf health ministers commended the UAE's effective measures against the novel coronavirus after keeping suspected Arab nationals inside its territories for the required quarantine time before allowing them to return back to their respective countries.
This came as the health ministers from the Gulf states gathered for an emergency meeting in the Saudi capital to discuss the growing concerns over the novel coronavirus, Covid-19.
The ministers affirmed that all precautionary measures have been taken to ensure cross-border preparedness against the virus in line with the International Health Regulations (2005) approved by the World Health Organisation, and in implementation of the Unified Health Procedures Manual in GCC countries approved at the 39th Summit in Riyadh in December 2018.
The emergency meeting follows the WHO’s announcement on February 16, about a total of nine confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. It was held at the request of GCC Secretary-General Dr Nayef bin Falah Al Hajraf and aimed to identify the readiness of the six countries in detecting and confronting the deadly virus.
More than 1,800 people have died of the virus in China and over 800 people globally, according to the World Health Organisation.