Plane Carrying 201 Americans Fleeing Coronavirus Outbreak in China Lands in Calif.
The passengers were subjected to multiple health screenings and will be temporarily quarantined
A plane carrying 201 Americans evacuating Wuhan, China, amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, landed in California on Wednesday.
The plane landed at 8:00 a.m. after being diverted to March Air Base in Riverside County, said David Wert, public information officer for San Bernardino County in a statement to PEOPLE.
Wert added that though the landing site was out of their jurisdiction, San Bernardino officials were “well-prepared to respond and support nonetheless.”
Chartered by the U.S. government, the flight carried diplomats and other U.S. citizens out of the city that’s considered to be the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, according to CBS News.
The passengers completed health exams in China and in Alaska, where the plane stopped to refuel before making it to California, according to USA Today, and all those aboard will be temporarily quarantined.
According to CBS News, more than 1,000 Americans were still in Wuhan awaiting evacuation prior to this flight.
“The whole plane erupted in cheers when the crew said, ‘Welcome home to the United States,’” Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, told The New York Times.
Several commercial airlines have halted flights to and from parts of China, citing lowered demand for travel to the country amid the outbreak.
American Airlines responded to the “significant decline in demand for travel to and from China” by canceling several routes between Feb. 9 and Mar. 27, a spokesperson told PEOPLE in a statement.
The airline’s flights from Los Angeles International to Shanghai Pudong and Beijing Capital International airports will be on hold in that window. Travelers expected by the blackout will be contacted directly, the AA spokesperson said.
American Airlines will, however, continue to fly to Beijing and Shanghai via Dallas/Fort Worth, and will also still fly from L.A. to Hong Kong.
United Airlines also ceased flying similar routes, according to NBC News; the airline says it will “continue to monitor” developments. Representatives from United did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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According to the World Health Organization on Wednesday, there have been 6,065 confirmed cases of people with coronavirus, with 132 deaths.
Outside of China, there have been 68 confirmed cases so far across 15 countries, WHO reported.
The first U.S. case of the coronavirus, a respiratory infection that doesn’t have a known treatment, was reported earlier this month. The 30-something man had recently traveled to Wuhan and returned to the U.S. on Jan. 15.
More countries plan on evacuating citizens from Wuhan, according to the Times, including France, Britain, Canada, Russia, Japan, South Korea, Morocco, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Australia and Myanmar.