Nepal government has begun the process to evacuate Nepalis residing in Hubei Province, the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak in China.

The government issued a notice on the official website of the Embassy of Nepal in China yesterday asking Nepalis living in Hubei to fill up forms and submit them in the embassy’s email

More than 300 people have died in the outbreak so far, the vast majority from Hubei, and more than 14,000 people worldwide have been infected.

A man has died of the coronavirus in the Philippines, which is first confirmed death from coronavirus outside China. The patient was a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, in Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.

According to the Nepali embassy, there are 105 Nepalis in Wuhan and about 8,500 across China. The notice reads, “Plans for a special chartered flight are being worked out. The particulars of the chartered flight will be arranged on the basis of submissions made by Nepali nationals willing to go back.”

Yogesh Bhattarai, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation yesterday said, “Two planes — one of Nepal Airlines and another of Himalaya Airlines — are on standby to evacuate Nepalis living in China. The process for evacuation is underway.”