TORONTO – Canadian citizens and permanent residents who remain in Wuhan, China, the center of the coronavirus outbreak, need to be brought home on a third evacuation plane, a group of families urged the federal government.
In a letter sent to Global Affairs Canada on Saturday, 44 families said that poor communication and misinformation meant their relatives did not board either of the previous government-chartered flights. The families represent about 100 Canadian citizens and PRs who want to leave Wuhan.
The families gave examples of language barriers, limited internet access and personal isolation as reasons why people did not board the flights.
“We are pleading urgently with the government to have compassion to bring our families and loved ones home,” the letter said.
Over 500 Canadians have been evacuated due to the coronavirus since the crisis began, according to Global Affairs Canada. Two Canadian government-chartered flights have flown out of Wuhan China, a government plane repatriated 129 Canadians from a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship docked in Japan, and a number of Canadians flew home on a United States government-chartered flight from Wuhan.
China reported 77,150 cases of coronavirus on Monday, with a death count of 2,592. The majority of these are in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.
“The longer this ordeal carries on, and the longer the lockdown continues for these unfortunate individuals, the more danger it will impose on the Canadians stuck there,” the letter read.
Global Affairs Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
covid-19, china, canada, wuhan, hubei, global affairs canada
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.
Your news needs your support
Since the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, The Japan Times has been providing free access to crucial news on the impact of the novel coronavirus as well as practical information about how to cope with the pandemic. Please consider subscribing today so we can continue offering you up-to-date, in-depth news about Japan.