The UAE evacuation plane took off at dawn from Wuhan Airport with 58 Yemeni students on board, a student in Wuhan city said
120 Yemeni students in Wuhan city, coronavirus epicenter, decline UAE evacuation flight
Dozens of Yemeni students and their families were evacuated on Wednesday from China’s Wuhan city, where coronavirus was first identified, but more than 120 students have decided to stay behind.
The UAE evacuation plane took off at dawn from Wuhan Airport with 58 Yemeni students on board, a student in Wuhan city told Almasdar Online.
About 178 Yemeni scholarship students and their families were living in Wuhan when the outbreak started. The city has been under quarantine for several weeks.
"We preferred to stay with our families here in Wuhan,” a student in the city said, after refusing to travel to Yemen via the Emirates.
On March 3, the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) said China had reported 129 new infections in a 24-hour period, the lowest number since Jan. 20, while noting that 80 percent of new infections outside China during the same period were in Italy, South Korea and Iran.
Nearly 80 countries have recorded coronavirus infections globally, and in the Middle East region, Iran has become the focus of the outbreak with more than 2,300 confirmed cases and 77 deaths.
As of March 4, the WHO estimates 93,090 infections worldwide and 3,198 deaths.
The countries with reported infections in the Middle East and Africa include: Kuwait (56), Bahrain (49), Iraq (31), UAE (27), Oman (12), Algeria (5), Egypt (2), Lebanon (13), Qatar (8).
Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and Jordan have each recorded a single case.
Meanwhile, countries reporting no infections from virus are Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Mauritania, Somalia, Djibouti, Comoros and Palestine.
Iran, which has recorded the highest number of deaths outside China, has been tightlipped about the spread of the virus, despite the death of a former ambassador and the infection of 23 members of parliament as well as a vice-president and deputy health minister.
Some 20,000 Yemenis live in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, including some 2,300 students, who have stayed behind despite the Yemeni government's delay in sending scholarship aid for more than half a year.