WUHAN, China/ ANKARA
A Turkish cargo plane sent to evacuate Turks from the Wuhan, China arrived Saturday at the Wuhan Tianhe International Airport.
The plane carrying health personnel experienced with infectious diseases arrived at 6 a.m. local time (2200GMT).
The plane, at the initiative of the Health Ministry, will evacuate at least 30 Turkish citizens, as well as those of several other nationalities amid an outbreak of the coronavirus.
“A total of 48 people, including citizens of Azerbaijan, Albania, and Georgia, will be taken to the plane after the health check of our infection specialists,” said Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca on Twitter.
Meanwhile, “Evacuation will begin under the control of the Ministry of Health personnel on board,” said Turkey’s National Defense Ministry in a statement.
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"The pilot and flight crew of our plane, which will bring Turkish and friend country's citizens from Wuhan city of China to our country, has completed its return preparations," the ministry added.
The coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, has killed at least 258 people in China with nearly 11,000 infected. More than
60,000 people are under medical observation.
Since its outbreak late last year, China has put Wuhan under lockdown in a bid to contain the virus and is building a 1,000-bed hospital to treat those affected.
Beyond China, the virus has spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Vietnam, and Canada.
Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Several airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan.
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