Death Tolls Rises to 106 as 1,000 Americans Try to Evacuate From Coronavirus-Infected Wuhan

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(ZH) — The Wall Street Journal has provided an update on the emergency charter flight to evacuate Americans from the epidemic-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan.

The Boeing 767, with about 230 seats, is preparing to depart from Wuhan Tianhe International Airport on Tuesday for California, amid new fears that coronavirus has uncontrollably spread across the country.

The U.S. State Department’s rapid response operation to evacuate Americans from the region is due to the expected increase in the number of cases in the days ahead.

There are roughly 1,000 Americans trapped in Wuhan, and only 230 will get seats on the chartered flight. 

We noted on Sunday that U.S. diplomats and their families were likely first on the list to receive seats.

People with tickets told the Journal that the chartered flight is expected to land in Ontario, California.

Vermont native Priscilla Dickie, 35, told the Journal that she and her daughter, 8, have seats on the plane but might not be able to get to the airport since transportation has come to a standstill. She said she’s 20 miles from the airport without a means of transportation.

Benjamin Wilson told the Journal he’s preparing for the worse and hunkering down with his Wuhan native wife and 7-year-old daughter.

“I would consider sending my daughter, if that were an option,” Wilson said.

But I wouldn’t leave my wife. But if my wife and daughter could travel together, then absolutely yes.”

A U.S. official told the Journal over the weekend that additional emergency evacuation operations would be conducted this week, which would include the busing of Americans from the outbreak zone to other cities for outbound flights to the U.S.

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Besides the U.S., Reuters reports the following countries have already announced evacuation plans for their citizens trapped in Wuhan:

  • France expects to repatriate up to a few hundred of its 800 citizens living in the Wuhan area. Evacuees will have to spend 14 days in quarantine to avoid spreading the virus in France.
  • The German air force repatriating 90 Germans living in the area, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Monday.
  • Japan is expected to arrange charter flights as early as Tuesday for any of its citizens who wish to return from Wuhan, two sources familiar with the matter said. Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said about 430 Japanese nationals have been confirmed to be in Hubei province.
  • Spain’s government is working with China and the European Union to repatriate Spanish nationals from the Wuhan area, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said.
  • Britain is talking to international partners to find solutions to help British and other foreign nationals leave Wuhan, a spokesman for Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
  • Canada has about 167 nationals in the Wuhan area, Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said on Monday, and eight people have sought consular assistance, which is being provided. While the minister did not rule out possible evacuations, he did not indicate there were any planned at the moment, adding that each consular request would be evaluated on a “case by case basis”.
  • Russia has been in talks with China about evacuating its nationals from Wuhan and Hubei province, Russia’s embassy in China said.
  • The Dutch government is assessing ways to evacuate 20 Dutch citizens from Wuhan, press agency ANP reported.
  • Authorities in Myanmar said they had canceled a planned evacuation of 60 students from Mandalay who were studying in Wuhan. Kyaw Yin Myint, a spokesman for the Mandalay municipal government, told Reuters that a “final decision” had been made to send them back after 14 days, once the virus’ incubation period had passed.

As the number of confirmed cases passes 4,500 with at least 106 deaths, many say the actual numbers are likely much higher.

By Tyler Durden | | Republished with permission

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