Beijing (AFP) – China declined a request from Cambodian leader Hun Sen to visit the epicenter of the fatal coronavirus outbreak to comfort stranded Cambodian students because it could not “properly organize” a trip to the blocked city of Wuhan the state media on Wednesday with.
Wuhan and surrounding Hubei Province have reported hundreds of deaths and thousands of infections, and more than 53 million people live under severe restrictions.
“Given the fact that Wuhan is doing everything in his power to fight the outbreak, and due to the tight schedule, a visit cannot be properly arranged at the moment,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, said at a press conference on Wednesday ,
While many countries have sent planes to evacuate their citizens, the experienced, strong Beijing ally Hun Sen has been criticized for insisting that the Cambodians stay.
He has asked for silence because of the virus and has threatened to exclude reporters or officials wearing medical masks from a press conference last month.
The planned visit to Wuhan was “to show the students the warmth and ensure that they are not afraid of the new corona virus,” the Chinese state media reported.
Hun Sen met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday, according to CCTV recordings.
Cambodia has reported a case of the new corona virus – a Chinese who came to the country from Wuhan.
So far, only two deaths outside of mainland China have been reported – a 39-year-old Hong Kong man who has traveled to Wuhan and a Chinese traveler from Wuhan who died in the Philippines.