Chinese social media has been awash with stories in recent days of South Koreans fleeing their native land to seek refuge in China, often citing “massively oversold flights” as supposed proof.
The number of confirmed coronavirus patients has spiked in South Korea, while the outbreak appears to be stabilizing in China outside the epicenter in Hubei province.
The Chinese government on Friday dismissed the online speculations.
“Airlines have cut flights since the outbreak began and that has led flights from South Korea to China to be full,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a regular news briefing. “But the overwhelming majority of passengers on these flights have been Chinese citizens based in South Korea.”
Zhao also noted tightened quarantine measures in Beijing and other cities targeting international arrivals apply to Chinese and foreigners alike.
“We will strengthen information sharing and cooperation with South Korea, and provide assistance within our ability,” he added.