Ireland trying to evacuate citizens from China with French help
Ireland is “confident” of securing seats for its citizens on a French evacuation flight from China, the Government has said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said the Republic would do everything necessary to contain any potential risk of the spread of coronavirus.
A small number of Irish citizens in the low single figures have sought help through the embassy in Beijing, he added.
Mr Coveney said: “We have spoken to our French colleagues and we are hopeful and confident that we can secure a seat on planes that would take Irish citizens who want to leave out.
“Then, when they arrive back in Europe, they will have to go through the appropriate health measures to ensure that they are not carrying infection and their healthcare needs are being looked after as they should be.”
The minister was in Waterford in the south east, canvassing for next week’s General Election, and said there was no evidence that any Irish citizen had contracted the virus.
He added that efforts were being made to help those with concerns.
“We are working on that process and I am confident that we can support any Irish citizen anywhere in China, but particularly in the region concerned,” he said.
“We can support them if they want to leave, we can find a way of getting them out, working with other EU countries who are more than happy to help.”
No commercial flights from the coronavirus-affected region of China are available but EU states are co-operating to make special arrangements, Mr Coveney added.