Coronavirus outbreak: Czechia considers financial help to China

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As China fights the coronavirus outbreak, the Czech Republic is considering offering financial help to China, although Prime Minister Andrej Babiš earlier said his country was unable to offer China material aid over concerns Czech citizens may require medical supplies.

“I spoke with the Chinese ambassador about humanitarian aid to China. Tomorrow, I will propose to the government to release up to 10 million korunas (€396,000) to buy medical supplies. We also want to involve Czech companies. China needs our help in fighting the coronavirus outbreak,” wrote Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček on Facebook.

Earlier, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said that the Czech Republic cannot comply with China’s request for material humanitarian aid as it needs medical supplies for itself, with his decision prompting criticism from some in the Czech media.

Later, Babiš added that the Czech Republic could help in some other way.

“We need masks and medicine mainly for our citizens, but of course we will help financially. We will also urge humanitarian organizations to organize charity collections,” stated Babiš.

About 14,000 people have already been infected with the new coronavirus and over 300 of them have died.

On Sunday, five Czech citizens were evacuated from Wuhan in China. After returning to their homeland, they are required to remain in quarantine.

Petříček also confirmed that, at the moment, the Czech Foreign Ministry is not considering withdrawing Czech diplomats from China.

“We keep regular contact with the embassy, ​​and I speak with the ambassador several times a day,” said Petříček.

Czech diplomacy wants the embassy to remain in full operation, however, family members of diplomats do not have to stay in China, said Petříček.

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