350 US citizens evacuated from China placed under coronavirus quarantine at military bases

Reuters California, United States Feb 06, 2020, 10.07 AM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The travelers aboard two State Department-chartered cargo jets were met by personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for screening, and are to remain under mandatory quarantine for 14 days, the incubation period of the virus.

Another group of nearly 350 Americans airlifted from the epicenter of China's fast-spreading coronavirus outbreak were placed under quarantine at two military bases in California on Wednesday, as the number of confirmed US cases of the disease rose to 12.

The travelers aboard two State Department-chartered cargo jets were met by personnel from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for screening, and are to remain under mandatory quarantine for 14 days, the incubation period of the virus.

Also read: Coronavirus: Death toll climbs to over 560 in China; 10 more infected on Japan ship

Five of the passengers arrived exhibiting possible symptoms, two of them children, and were immediately hospitalized, along with the mother of one of the youngsters, the CDC said.

The latest evacuees, together with 195 Americans flown out of Wuhan, China, a week ago by the US government, bring to 540 the number people subject so far to the CDC's first public health quarantine in 50 years. Wuhan, in China's Hubei province, is the epicenter of the disease.

Also read: World has 'window of opportunity' to halt virus spread: World Health Organisation chief

The two planes in Wednesday's airlift arrived at Travis Air Force Base in northern California, where 178 passengers from one plane disembarked to begin two weeks of round-the-clock health screening while barred from contact with the general public.

None of the group showed signs of disease, except for a small child who developed a fever during the flight and was taken to a nearby hospital with its mother for further testing and medical treatment in isolation, officials said. The other evacuees at Travis will be housed in a hotel on base.

After refueling, the second evacuation plane flew on to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, near San Diego, arriving with 167 passenger. Of that group, three adults and a child "were determined to have a fever or a cough that warranted them being transported to a local hospital for further evaluation," the CDC said. The rest were placed under quarantine at two housing sites on base.