Plane to help 156 Canadians leave China awaits Chinese approval: official

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OTTAWA — Canada’s top foreign-affairs official says 156 Canadians have asked for help to leave China amid an outbreak of a new virus.

Marta Morgan, the deputy minister of foreign affairs, tells a House of Commons committee this morning that Canada is still working on getting Chinese approval to send a chartered plane to collect them.

To try to contain the novel coronavirus, China has all but sealed off one of its central provinces, beginning with the city of Wuhan.

About 250 Canadians there are registered with Global Affairs Canada, according to the government.

Morgan says the department is working with Canada’s public health authorities to help them co-ordinate with Chinese experts, as well.

This coronavirus generally causes mild cold-like symptoms but can be deadly to people with other health problems or weakened immune systems.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 30, 2020.

The Canadian Press