A number of Chinese students attempting to enter Australia after its coronavirus travel ban were reportedly stranded in airports across the country.
The death toll from the respiratory illness has reached 427 people, including the second death outside China, a 39-year-old man in Hong Kong.
This week Australia introduced a ban on 1 February restricting anyone from entering the country who travelled from or through mainland China.
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Minister and Deputy Head of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in Australia Wang Xining today criticised the federal government over the ban.
Mr Wang took particular issue with the government not providing sufficient warning before issuing a travel ban, leaving some stranded and forcing others back to China. The exact number of travellers stranded is not yet known.
"We are not happy about this situation because they were not alerted - there's not enough time to be alerted about the restriction. We get in touch with relevant authorities and ministries. As far as I know, most of them are finally cleared," he said.
"Of course, we encourage all the Chinese citizens, the students, who entered Australia after February 1 to abide by the measures that's suggested by the Australian government, including the self-isolation measures.
"But there are still a number of people who are still stranded in Brisbane, and a few of them were actually already sent back to China, for which we are not pleased about what happened, because they were not alerted about the restrictions."
Mr Wang said there were also concerns about thousands more students planning to arrive and study in Australia before the university term begins later this month.
"We are in touch with the universities and also with the education ministry to sort out a proper solution for these students," he said.
"We hope their rights and interests will be safeguarded, including proper expansion of visa if the validity is over, and also maybe proper compensation for some of the financial losses during this period."
Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-crisis-chinese-university-students-stranded-in-australian-airports/9bed8202-d6ec-4820-9234-e36bf439c969