First new virus case found among evacuees from China to US

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The first confirmed case of novel coronavirus has been found among hundreds of people who were evacuated from China to military bases around the United States (US), it was reported yesterday.

The adult and three other evacuees had been in hospital isolation after showing symptoms of the virus but last Sunday, federal health officials said they had tested negative and they were sent back to the base, where they joined over 200 people who are under a 14-day quarantine.

On Monday morning, however, officials with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention informed county health officials that “further testing revealed that one of the four patients tested positive” for novel coronavirus and the person was returned to hospital isolation, UC San Diego Health said in a statement.

Another evacuee from Miramar also was hospitalised for evaluation on Monday afternoon, UC San Diego Health said in a statement.

“Both patients are doing well and have minimal symptoms,” the statement said.

A plane carrying evacuees from the virus zone in China lands at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego. PHOTO: AP

This is the seventh confirmed case of novel coronavirus in California and the 13th in the US.

The person confirmed to have the illness arrived at Miramar last Wednesday from Wuhan.

That locked-down city of 11 million is the epicentre of the highly contagious disease, which has killed over 1,000 people overseas.

Recent chartered flights have sent hundreds of people back to the US. They are being held in quarantine at military bases in California, Texas and Nebraska.

Five evacuees taken to Travis Air Force Base, located between San Francisco and Sacramento, were hospitalised after showing symptoms of the virus but none of those possible cases has been confirmed, authorities said.

Some 200 evacuees at March Reserve Air Base in Southern California were released from their two-week quarantine yesterday.

No symptoms were reported among evacuees at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio or a Nebraska National Guard training base in Omaha.