China says it urgently needs medical supplies, masks & protective suits to tackle Wuhan virus

The Chinese foreign ministry also said the U.S.' travel ban "violates civil rights".

Melanie Lim | February 04, 2020, 05:13 PM

China has admitted the country is in need of medical supplies.

China in need of medical supplies, masks and more

In response to a question from international media at an online press conference on Feb. 3 regarding the novel coronavirus outbreak, Hua Chunying, a spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), expressed her gratitude towards many countries that have extended support and understanding to China since the viral outbreak.

She said: "As of noon Feb. 2, epidemic prevention and control supplies donated by the ROK (South Korea), Japan, the UK, France, Turkey, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Iran, Belarus, Indonesia and the UNICEF have arrived in China."

However, Hua also mentioned that China is in urgent need of "medical supplies for prevention and control, masks, protective suits and safety goggles among other items" during these trying times.

China: U.S. travel ban violates civil rights

When asked about the United States raising its travel advisory to the highest level and temporarily banning the entry of all foreigners who travelled to China in the past 14 days starting from Feb. 2, Hua said that the US has "inappropriately overreacted".

Hua mentioned that the U.S. government had not provided any substantial assistance to China, and was the first to "evacuate personnel from its consulate in Wuhan" and "impose a travel ban on Chinese travelers".

She said this kind of "fear and overreaction" ran counter to advice from the World Health Organization (WHO), which "doesn't approve of and even rejects travel bans on China".

Hua further criticised the U.S., saying that such a travel ban could be "violating civil rights instead of reducing risks of virus spreading".

She also expressed confidence in China's ability to win the fight against the virus as soon as possible, and stated that countries should stay calm and "take proper measures that won't unnecessarily interfere with international travel".

China bringing back its citizens from overseas

In addition, Hua stated that the Chinese government has been making arrangements to bring Hubei citizens travelling overseas back to China.

In two days, four chartered flights were arranged to bring home 399 Chinese citizens.

China has also taken measures to ensure the well-being of foreign nationals in the country, Hua added.

For instance, Hubei has set up a 24-hour hotline for "foreign citizens, students and tour groups in the province to access advice and assistance".

Foreign readers could also keep themselves updated on the latest information from the National Health Commission by visiting the Chinese MFA website.

In addition, a document on the prevention of the Wuhan coronavirus has also been translated into six foreign languages and made available online.

Deaths in China hit 425, 3,235 new cases reported

As of Feb. 4, the number of confirmed deaths in China due to the Wuhan virus stands at 425, after authorities in Hubei province reported 64 new fatalities.

There was also a sharp increase in confirmed infections with 3,235 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in China to 20,438.

Top image via People's Daily, China on Twitter