A plane chartered by the U.S. government to evacuate as many as 240 Americans from the Chinese city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak landed overnight in Anchorage, Alaska to refuel before heading for Southern California. It’s carrying diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan and other U.S. citizens. Before the flight left China there were more than 1,000 Americans stuck in Wuhan.
Other countries have also begun evacuating citizens from China on chartered flights.
Anxiety in Wuhan, a quarantined city of 11 million people — and across Asia — was spreading as fast as the deadly virus. By Wednesday morning the flu-like virus had killed at least 132 people, all of them in China. Close to 6,000 others have been infected in more than a dozen countries, including five confirmed cases in the United States. More than 100 people in the U.S. were being tested for the disease across 26 states on Tuesday.
Public health officials from the U.S. and China have warned people to expect many more infections. Coronavirus can be transmitted by people showing no symptoms, and a top British infectious disease specialist said Monday that the actual number of cases around the world could be close to 100,000.
China has locked down more than 15 cities, including Wuhan, virtually quarantining a population of more than 50 million people in a bid to stop the spread of the coronavirus.