Around 200 Americans evacuated from the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak this week will not be going home immediately. Officials say the US citizens, who were screened before leaving Wuhan and then screened again during a stop in Alaska, will be quarantined at a military base in California for at least 72 hours, the BBC reports. The flight, originally scheduled to land at a civilian airport near Los Angeles, landed at March Air Reserve Base Wednesday morning. Dr. Christopher Braden, deputy director of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, said the passengers were not under a federal quarantine order but had voluntarily agreed to stay in special housing on the base, reports Reuters.
"I can just tell you they were very happy to be here and there was no indication they wanted to leave right away," Braden said, per the San Jose Mercury News. He said some passengers have decided to remain at the base for two weeks, believed to be the maximum incubation period for the virus, and those who decide to leave will also be monitored. Other countries evacuating citizens from Wuhan, including Australia, are keeping the evacuees in isolation for two weeks. The World Health Organization plans to hold a meeting Thursday to discuss the coronavirus, which has now killed more than 170 people, almost all of them in Wuhan and surrounding cities. The AP reports that India and the Philippines have now reported their first confirmed cases. (Read more coronavirus stories.)