Hundreds more Americans return to U.S. from coronavirus epicenter

By | February 5, 2020


Hundreds more Americans evacuated from the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak were landing in California Wednesday morning. The two planes, carrying about 350 people in total, were arriving at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California. One of them was to remain there while the other was to refuel before continuing on to Miramar Marine Corps Air Station in Southern California.

All the passengers will spend up to two weeks under quarantine in California while they are monitored for symptoms of the potentially deadly new virus.

As of Wednesday morning, the death toll from the virus stood at 492 — virtually all of them in mainland China — with more than 24,000 others infected. As CBS News correspondent Ramy Inocencio reports, all 65 of the deaths confirmed between Tuesday and Wednesday were from China’s central Hubei province, where Wuhan is located and where the evacuated Americans had been staying.

An American was one of 10 passengers on a Japanese cruise ship that tested positive for the coronavirus. That individual and the others infected were transferred Wednesday to a Japanese hospital. Thousands of other passengers remained quarantined on the ship.

Videos reveal severity of Chinese virus control measures
The latest plane loads of U.S. evacuees fleeing Wuhan, in central China, left behind a life on lockdown, where social media posts show the tough measures Chinese authorities are taking to try and control the disease.

One video shows a woman said to have been arrested in a grocery store for refusing to wear a mask. In another, a woman gets into a fight after reportedly refusing to have her temperature taken by authorities. Other videos claim to show authorities dragging people away after they’ve exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus.

Beijing has mobilized more than 7,000 tons of supplies for people in the Hubei Wuhan — with the army laying out thousands of empty beds for more patients — but infections in the epicenter are spreading rapidly.

2nd U.S. evacuation flight arrives in California
The first of two U.S. government-chartered evacuation flights from Wuhan, China, touched down early Wednesday morning at Travis Air Force Base in Northern California. The second flight due in Wednesday was expected within minutes. Together the planes, chartered by the State Department to get Americans out of the city at the center of the coronavirus outbreak, were carrying about 350 people.

Last week saw the first evacuation charter flight, carrying about 195 people, arrive in California. Those passengers remain quarantined for health checks.

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