Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, Russia condole China

ISLAMABAD (AA): Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Russia extended condolences to China over the loss of lives caused by the deadly coronavirus in the country, Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Sunday.

According to the ministry, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and Russia talked to their Chinese counterpart on the phone and expressed condolences over the death of more than 300 people from the novel coronavirus epidemic.

“State Councilor &Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a telephone call with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu. Cavusoglu expressed condolences and sympathy to those who passed away due to the novel coronavirus epidemic and their families,” said Lijian Zhao, the deputy director-general at the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Twitter.

Turkish diplomatic sources also confirmed Saturday the phone conversation between Cavusoglu and Wang that Cavusoglu expressed condolences to the country.

According to Lijian, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi also spoke with Wang and conveyed Prime Minister Imran Khan’s best wishes to Premier Li Keqiang. Qureshi expressed Pakistan’s strong support for China’s efforts to contain the outbreak.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov also spoke with Chinese Foreign Minister and expressed condolences to China.

Russia fully recognized and highly appreciated effective measures taken by China to combat the outbreak, believed that the threat of the epidemic will soon be eliminated, Lavrov said during his conversation with Wang.

The coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, has killed at least 304 people in China, with nearly 14,380 infected. More than 137,600 people are under medical observation.

According to the World Health Organization’s local office on Sunday, a 44-year-old man who reportedly died of the coronavirus in the Philippines on Saturday became the first confirmed death outside China.

The patient was a Chinese from the city of Wuhan in the Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.

Since its outbreak late last year, China has put Wuhan under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat those affected.

Beyond China, the virus has spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Vietnam and Canada, and most recently to the Philippines with the confirmed death on Sunday.

Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Several airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan.