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US passenger from Wuhan ‚attempted to leave‘ California military base, put on quarantine

Foto: Matt Hartman/AFP/Getty Images
The entrance to March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, on January 29, 2020.

  • One of the passengers from a group of US citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China, „attempted to leave“ a US military base in California, where they landed on Wednesday, according to health officials.
  • „He or she did not take a step outside the base,“ a Riverside County health official said to Business Insider, adding that the passenger was not „trying to do anything sneaky … or anything out of the ordinary.“
  • The official noted that the passenger may have „expressed that they may have wanted to leave,“ and added that they were now fully complying with the quarantine orders.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

One of the passengers from a group of US citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China, „attempted to leave“ a US military base in California, where they landed on Wednesday, according to health officials.

Health officials said a quarantine order for the passenger was issued „requiring the person to stay for the entire incubation period or until otherwise cleared“ from March Air Reserve Base (MARB) located in Riverside, California.

„This action was taken as a result of the unknown risk to the public should someone leave early without undergoing a full health evaluation,“ Riverside County’s statement read. „The individual will remain at MARB until their health status is confirmed. All other passengers from the flight also remain at MARB and continue to be evaluated.“

A spokesperson told Business Insider that the passenger did not make it outside the base.

„He or she did not take a step outside the base,“ a Riverside County health official said, adding that the passenger was not „trying to do anything sneaky … or anything out of the ordinary.“

The official noted that the passenger may have „expressed that they may have wanted to leave,“ and added that they were now fully complying with the quarantine orders.

A spokesman for the Air Force base told Business Insider that security personnel were not called on during the incident: „Our security forces have been directed not get involved … because it’s under the purview of [Health and Human Services] and [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention].“

Around 195 US citizens arrived in the base after leaving Wuhan, where the deadly coronavirus originated. Many of the passengers were members of the US State Department and their families. The passengers have been provided with living arrangements on the base, where they will be monitored for around three days.

„These passengers are happy to be back in the United States,“ Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, reportedly said. „I heard that the people on board cheered loudly when the plane touched down safely in Anchorage.“

At least 170 people have been killed and 8,100 are infected. All of the deaths have occurred in China.

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday designated the coronavirus as a „public-health emergency of international concern.“

„Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak,“ WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.

„We don’t know what sort of damage this virus could do if it were spread in a country with a weaker health system,“ he added. „We must act now to help countries prepare for that possibility.“

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