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Plane with 240 US evacuees from Wuhan lands in Alaska

Plane with 240 US evacuees from Wuhan lands in Alaska

A plane carrying US evacuees from Wuhan refuels in Alaska.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska: A plane carrying consular staff members and other US nationals evacuated from Wuhan province due to the coronavirus outbreak landed in Alaska to refuel before continuing on to California.

The State Department said a chartered flight had left Wuhan early on Wednesday (Jan 29) with 240 American citizens on board.

The US is among several countries trying to evacuate their citizens from Wuhan as the death toll from the outbreak rose sharply to 132 on Wednesday with nearly 1,500 new cases.

READ: Plane carrying Japanese evacuees from Wuhan lands in Tokyo, 5 reported ill

READ: US developing vaccine against deadly China virus - officials

The White House is holding daily meetings on the outbreak and monitoring China-US flights as a likely source of infections, sources briefed on the matter said, though it had decided against suspending air traffic for the time being.

"All options for dealing with infectious disease spread have to be on the table, including travel restrictions," said US Health Secretary Alex Azar.

A senior Trump administration official said airlines had not been asked to suspend flights, after CNBC reported that the White House had told airline executives it was considering such a move.

MORE: Our coverage on the Wuhan virus and its developments

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Source: AGENCIES/jt

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