There are about 1,000 Americans living in Wuhan and those who choose to evacuate with diplomats will be billed for the flight
A charter flight to evacuate American diplomats and citizens from the Chinese city, that has become ground zero for a new deadly strain of coronavirus, is being arranged by the US government.
Around three dozen diplomats and their families from the US consulate in Wuhan, China will be evacuated during the process. The US has a contract with a transporter to carry out the evacuation.
The US consulate in Wuhan is closed and all US diplomats are "under ordered departure," a US official told CNN.
Officials are still deciding on the details – whether to choose a narrow-body Boeing 737 or a wide-body Boeing 767.
The source said, "A lot depends on what the Chinese authorities will allow us to do," adding that Beijing has been very cooperative.
There are about 1,000 Americans living in Wuhan and those who choose to evacuate with diplomats will be billed for the flight, the official with knowledge of the matter said.
The official added that diplomats from other countries, such as South Korea and the United Kingdom, are arranging their own transportation out of Wuhan.
It is unknown where the plane plans to fly to in the US, the person said.
The US State Department raised the travel advisory for the Hubei province to "Level 4: Do Not Travel," warning that the "US government has limited ability to provide emergency services to US citizens in Hubei province."
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.
More than 56 people in mainland China have now been killed by the Wuhan coronavirus, with more than 1,300 confirmed cases.