The United States Department of Defense said that the US military will provide accommodation to 1,000 people if they need to be quarantined because of the deadly coronavirus outbreak. Several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms will be made available for suspects or patients until February 29. The novel virus has already claimed at least 304 lives with more than 14,000 confirmed cases in China.
The US was also one of the countries which have been isolating citizens who travelled to the Chinese city of Wuhan which has also been identified as the epicentre of the outbreak. According to reports, two US Air Force bases in California and Texas along with Marine Corps air station in California and a training institute in Colorado will be offered by the department in case of need.
The statement also added that the Department of Health and Human Services which had earlier requested military assistance would be responsible to provide security, care, and transportation of evacuees. US army officials also imposed a mandatory two week-quarantine period on nearly 195 Americans who fled Wuhan on January 31. The plane which reportedly carried diplomats with their families, landed at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California.
During a White House press conference, US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar had elaborated on the restrictions applied to people who have visited designated areas two weeks prior to the attempted entry into the country. Currently, there have been at least seven confirmed cases of coronavirus in the US while it has claimed 259 lives with 11,791 confirmed cases in China.
"I have today declared that the coronavirus presents a public health emergency in the United States," said Azar during a briefing at the White House, adding the directives would take effect on February 2 from 5:00 pm eastern time. He further added, “Foreign nationals, other than the immediate family of US citizens and permanent residents, who have travelled in China within the last 14 days will be denied entry into the United States for this time.”
According to the WHO, the main reason for the coronavirus outbreak to be declared as a global emergency is not because of China, but due to the happenings of the world. The statement also praised the country for 'quickly identifying' the virus and shared its sequence to help other countries.
“The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China, but what is happening in other countries," said the WHO chief, praising the "extraordinary measures" taken there by authorities.