Two more planes evacuate Americans from coronavirus-hit Wuhan

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The United States evacuated more than 300 more people on two new flights out of Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the fast-spreading new coronavirus, the State Department said Tuesday.

The two flights left Wuhan on Tuesday US time after the passengers were screened, a State Department official said.

The official said that the United States has now brought home more than 500 passengers on three fights. A first flight, with 195 Americans on board, left Wuhan last week and landed in California.

The United States is preparing one or two additional planes to evacuate Americans on Thursday, after which it does not intend further flights, the official said.

The United States has been placing passengers under mandatory quarantine, the first time that the federal government has taken such a major step since the 1960s.

As stated in a travel advisory issued last week, “US citizens currently in China should attempt to depart by commercial means,” the official said.

The United States has offered seats on the government planes as they becomes available, with the US citizens asked to reimburse the government.

Washington declared a public health emergency over the pathogen and has banned the entry of foreign nationals who have traveled to China, where 490 people have died.

Eleven cases of infection have been confirmed in the United States.

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