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BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on the outbreak of a new virus from China that has sickened thousands of people and killed more than 100 (all times local):
A U.S. State Department official has told The Associated Press that a chartered plane sent to China to pick up Americans in the city of Wuhan has departed and is en route to the U.S.
Wuhan is the epicenter of a new virus that has sickened thousands and killed more than 100.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.
The plane left Wuhan before dawn Wednesday, China time.
It’s first stop will be Anchorage, where the travelers will be re-screened for the virus. Hospitals have been notified and are prepared to treat or quarantine people who may be infected.
Then the plane is scheduled to fly to Ontario, California.
By Matthew Lee
This version corrects that the plane left before dawn Wednesday China time, not Tuesday.
The British government is warning against “all but essential travel” to mainland China amid the outbreak of a new virus.
The Foreign Office updated its travel advice on its website, saying it applies to all of the mainland except for Hong Kong and Macao.
The guidance says: “It may become harder over the coming weeks for those who wish to leave China to do so. If you feel that you may want to leave China soon, you should consider making plans to do so before any further restrictions may be imposed.”
China has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further. The outbreak has killed more than 100 people.
Japanese media say a Japanese plane has arrived in the Chinese city that is the epicenter of a new virus and will bring back 200 citizens.
The Yomiuri newspaper said in an online article that the plane arrived late Tuesday night in Wuhan and would return to Tokyo early Wednesday morning.
A U.S.-chartered plane with Americans from the Wuhan Consulate and other U.S. citizens was also expected to depart for Alaska early Wednesday but there was no immediate confirmation if it had left.
The plane with the Americans was scheduled to first land for refueling in Anchorage, where the travelers will be re-screened for the virus. Hospitals have been notified and are prepared to treat or quarantine people who may be infected.
Then the plane is scheduled to fly to Ontario, California.
Canada is confirming a third case of the new virus from China that has sickened thousands of people and killed more than 100,
British Columbia Health Officer Bonnie Henry said Tuesday the man in his 40s visited Wuhan, China recently and arrived in Vancouver last week. Wuhan is where the outbreak started.
Henry says the man showed no symptoms while flying to Canada but developed symptoms a day later and contacted health authorities in Canada on Sunday.
The man regularly travels to China for work.
The first two confirmed cases in Canada are in Toronto and involve a a couple that recently visted Wuhan.
France has confirmed a fourth case of a new virus spreading in China, an elderly Chinese tourist who is in intensive care in a Paris hospital.
Jerome Saloman directs France's public health agency and says Tuesday that the tourist is suffering from a severe case of the virus and needs constant care.
Saloman says the patient is in his 80s and is from China’s Hubei region, where the virus has been spreading rapidly,
French authorities are looking for people the tourist was in contact with since arriving in France. Saloman says authorities are also stepping up surveillance of people who have arrived recently from the region around the Chinese city of Wuhan.
Three other people were already hospitalized in France with the virus, the first cases reported in Europe. The virus has sicked thousands mostly in China and more than 100 people have died.
France is also planning to repatriate hundreds of its citizens from the Wuhan region.
The European Union is dispatching two flights to evacuate at least 350 healthy European citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan as a deadly new flu spreads in the region.
The 28-nation union activated a disaster-response mechanism to organize the flights at the request of France, which has a large number of citizens in the Wuhan region.
The initial flights will only carry healthy EU citizens or those without symptoms of the virus, the European Commission said in a statement Tuesday. It said the EU is ready to mobilize further flights in the coming days.
The first flight will carry about 250 French citizens. More than 100 other EU citizens will travel on the second flight. The EU will co-finance the flights.
France’s government had already announced that it would organize return flights for both healthy citizens and those with virus symptoms, and that it would hold them in quarantine for 14 days after their arrival in France.
The United States and several other nations are preparing to airlift citizens out of a Chinese city at the center of a virus outbreak that has killed more than 100 people.
Hong Kong's leader says it will cut all rail links to mainland China and halve the number of flights, as authorities in China and overseas sought to stem the spread of the new virus. The number of confirmed cases has risen to more than 4,500.
The U.S. government chartered a plane to fly out diplomats from the U.S. Consulate in Wuhan, where the outbreak started, and other Americans.
China has cut off access to Wuhan and 16 other cities to prevent people from leaving and spreading the virus further.
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