PNG govt asks its citizens in China to stay at home

9:35 am on 7 February 2020

Papua New Guinea's health minister has urged the 500 or so PNG citizens in China to remain in their homes, amid heightened fears over novel coronavirus.

Jelta Wong.

Jelta Wong. Photo: Facebook / Jelta Wong

The National reports Jelta Wong saying most of the 500 are students, who should not risk exposure to the virus by leaving their dormitories.

He said the Chinese government was doing its best to contain the virus, and to protect foreigners living in China.

China's ambassador to PNG, Xue Bing, said Chinese authorities were taking good care of PNG students.

He said they were being provided with food, water, masks and cleaning, products.

Meanwhile, Mr Xue said he was worried about hate speech being directed at Chinese people in PNG over the coronavirus outbreak.

The NBC reports the ambassador describing xenophobic attacks as being worse than the virus itself.

Mr Xue said Papua New Guineans should not panic about the virus and have confidence in China to contain its spread.

But he said Chinese citizens in PNG should be cautious about growing discrimination.

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