SCIO briefing on the health and security of Chinese students overseas during the COVID-19 outbreak

The State Council Information Office held a press conference in Beijing on April 2 to brief the media on the health and security of Chinese students living overseas during the COVID-19 outbreak. April 6, 2020

Hong Kong China Review News Agency:

How many overseas Chinese students have been diagnosed with COVID-19? What kind of assistance will relevant departments offer if overseas students are diagnosed with the disease? Thank you.

Tian Xuejun: 

As of March 31, 36 Chinese students studying abroad have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to Chinese embassies and consulates. After learning that some Chinese overseas students showed signs of infection, Chinese embassies and consulates immediately activated emergency response mechanisms and assisted the students in seeking medical treatment. All of the diagnosed students have received timely treatment, and 11 of them have recovered.

Hong Kong Economic Herald:

Just now, Mr. Ma said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, along with Chinese embassies and consulates, took active measures to address the problem that some overseas students were stranded in transit due to domestic flight adjustments. What should overseas students do if they encounter such problems in the future? Thank you.

Ma Zhaoxu:

As a result of flight adjustments and other reasons, some Chinese citizens, mainly overseas students, were recently stranded in countries such as Ethiopia, Bangladesh, and Cambodia. As soon as the problem occurred, Chinese ambassadors and consul generals in these countries arrived at airports and made all-out efforts to provide consular protection. After active communication and coordination with airlines, airports and local governments, we made proper accommodation arrangements for the citizens and solved their problems efficiently. The departments of foreign affairs and civil aviation kept close coordination and adopted urgent measures for pressing issues, sending temporary flights to bring home the overseas citizens. They were very satisfied with the solutions, saying, "Thank our motherland. We love our motherland. We love the embassy." These are their true feelings.

Here I'd like to remind overseas Chinese students and other Chinese citizens living abroad to pay close attention to the entry policies of countries while in transit and contact airlines for related information in advance. It is strictly necessary to check your flights, especially connecting flights, with the airlines before buying tickets and boarding. If you get stranded while traveling, please contact local Chinese embassies and consulates for assistance or call the 24-hour consular protection hotline. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and China's embassies and consulates will do our utmost to provide consular assistance to Chinese citizens. Thank you.

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