Americans in Wuhan Prepare to Flee Outbreak-While Others Stay - Too Interesting

Americans in Wuhan Prepare to Flee Outbreak—While Others Stay

SHANGHAI—Hundreds of Americans were preparing to fly out of Wuhan, bound for California, as fears grew at the epicenter of China’s health crisis. But more U.S. citizens aren’t leaving, having failed to secure a seat on the single U.S.-bound flight—or decided to ride out the emergency where they are.

Americans in Wuhan Prepare to Flee Outbreak---While Others Stay

A State Department evacuation flight promised relief for a segment of Wuhan’s roughly 1,000 Americans, as a lockdown triggered by a coronavirus outbreak turned the focus to the dangers of contagion and a long quarantine in China’s eighth-most-populous city. Roads, restaurants and many shops in Wuhan, a city of 11 million, are now shut as China tries to contain the virus.

A U.S. charter jet was expected to arrive at Wuhan’s closed airport on Tuesday and quickly depart for the U.S., ferrying 230 or so U.S. diplomats, their family members and an “extremely limited” number of private citizens back to the U.S., according to a State Department notice and passengers who have been in contact with the U.S. Embassy in China. The flight is intended primarily to evacuate staff of the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan during a temporary shutdown of the diplomatic mission.

The plane will land in Ontario, Calif., a city about one hour east of Los Angeles, a State Department spokeswoman said Monday. She added that all travelers would be screened for symptoms before departing. During a refueling stop in Anchorage, passengers will disembark into a terminal closed to the general public and receive another health screening before continuing on to California, said Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer.

Medics will be on the flight, Dr. Zink said. If a passenger shows symptoms between Wuhan and Anchorage, health officials will determine what to do on a case-by-case basis, she said, adding that Anchorage hospitals were prepared to treat any ill passengers.

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