The US State Department filled two airplanes with residents returning from China after being caught up in citywide coronavirus quarantine in Wuhan.
According to a report, the department announced Saturday that more than 800 U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents were returned to the country after being held in Wuhan as Chinese officials worked to contain the contagious coronavirus. In a statement about the evacuation, department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said all returning citizens will be screened for the virus to ensure it isn’t carried into the United States.
“Yesterday, two flights from Wuhan carrying U.S. citizens, their immediate family members, and U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents safely landed in the United States,” Ortagus said. “As with the other recent evacuation flights, all passengers will be carefully screened and monitored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services.”
The department noted that they had worked with the Department of Defense and local authorities in Wuhan to coordinate the evacuation.
Ortagus added, “We remain committed to our vital mission of ensuring the welfare of U.S. citizens overseas and providing important information to help them stay safe. Our team here in Washington and at our Embassy and consulates in China are working closely with [the People’s Republic of China] authorities to offer all possible support to U.S. citizens throughout China.”
The Trump administration declared coronavirus a public emergency, published a travel advisory for people hoping to visit China, and placed a ban on foreign travel from China to the U.S. as the Chinese government works to contain the virus.