A US citizen trapped at the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in China described her fear of living in a city that’s cut off from the rest of the country by transport restrictions.
Teacher Diana Adama has been living in Wuhan city for three months of her 15 years in China. Wuhan is the ground zero for a new deadly strain of coronavirus — with about 1,000 Americans living in the city.
More than 50 people are dead — all in China — as the Wuhan coronavirus continues to spread throughout Asia and the rest of the world. Nearly 2,000 cases have been confirmed in mainland China.
Chinese authorities have imposed indefinite restrictions on public transport and travel in Hubei province in an unprecedented effort to contain the spread of the virus.
Residents are feeling disconnected and cut off from the rest of the world, according to Adama.
“I woke up feeling quite desperate, sad, angry. Most of this is because of lack of information, and lack of knowing what’s going on,” she said.
Despite her fears and perceived lack of information about Wuhan coronavirus, she does not plan to leave the city in an evacuation flight organized by the State Department.
“Right now I can’t leave; I won’t leave. Because if I am a carrier, I’m not going to endanger anybody else. And that’s just erring on the side of caution,” she said.
The US government is arranging a charter flight to evacuate American diplomats and citizens from Wuhan, a US official with knowledge of the matter told CNN on Saturday.
On Thursday, the US State Department ordered non-emergency personnel and their families to depart China’s Hubei province, of which Wuhan is the provincial capital, due to the coronavirus.
The United States has a contract with a transporter to evacuate about three dozen diplomats and their families from the US consulate in Wuhan.
Details of the flight plan are still being finalized, with officials still deciding between a narrow-body Boeing 737 and a wide-body Boeing 767, the source said. The State Department and the White House have not yet responded to CNN’s request for comment on the planned evacuation.
The US consulate in Wuhan reached out to Americans registered with the consulate and offered them seats on a flight, the official said. The flight will have medical personnel aboard to treat anyone with the virus and make sure it is contained.
With people rushing to buy face masks to protect themselves from the coronavirus, China’s central government has asked manufacturers to interrupt their Lunar New Year holiday to resume production.
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