A coronavirus rescue flight left China early this morning with 83 Britons and 27 other foreigners onboard.
Photos shared on social media revealed that the evacuated Britons and foreigners wore face masks to stop the deadly droplets of the virus.
The chartered flight which left Wuhan at 9:45am local time on Friday January 31, is scheduled to land at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire at 1pm UK time. The flight will continue on to Spain following the stopover in the UK, at which point EU nationals’ home countries will take responsibility for them.
In UK, the flight’s passengers who are Britons will be taken to Park hospital in Wirral where they will spend 14 days in quarantine.
Britain’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said;
“It’s welcome news that our evacuation flight has now left Wuhan. We know how distressing the situation has been for those waiting to leave. We have been working round the clock to clear the way for a safe departure. The welfare of those trapped and public safety have been our overriding priorities.”
Just before the passengers boarded the flight, Chinese authorities announced 43 deaths, putting the total deaths recorded since the outbreak in Chinese city of Wuhan at 213. All of the deaths have occurred in China, which recorded 9,692 cases as of Friday compared with 7,711 confirmed cases 24 hours earlier.
The number of Britons remaining in Wuhan is however still unclear after the first evacuation, as there is a ban on public transport and most private cars.