January 28, 2020 / 5:58 AM / 7 months ago

Kazakhstan restricts visa regime for Chinese over virus

NUR-SULTAN (Reuters) - Kazakhstan will require medical certificates from Chinese citizens seeking visas and has stopped issuing electronic visas to them on arrival as a protective measure against the spread of a new coronavirus, deputy foreign minister Shukhrat Nuryshev said on Tuesday.

Nuryshev told reporters the government has asked Beijing to allow 98 Kazakh students to leave the city of Wuhan, which has been locked down and is considered to be the epicenter of the outbreak.

There are no plans to completely close the border with neighboring China, he said, as that would stop Kazakh citizens from returning home. Overall, 1,300 Kazakhs remain in China, Nuryshev said, half of them tourists visiting resorts in Hainan.

Out of those who have already returned from China, four people have been hospitalized with suspected respiratory infections and are being tested, healthcare minister Yelzhan Birtanov told the same briefing.

Reporting by Tamara Vaal; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Kim Coghill

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