By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. will evacuate its diplomats and citizens from Wuhan, China on Tuesday, where an outbreak of a novel coronavirus began.
In an email, according to the Wall Street Journal, the State Department said it is "making arrangement to relocate its personnel" at the U.S. Consulate General in Wuhan.
"We anticipate that there will be limited capacity to transport private U.S. citizens on a reimbursable basis on a single flight leaving" Wuhan International Airport and they would be proceeded to San Francisco, California, according to the email.
"This capacity is extremely limited and if there is insufficient ability to transport everyone who expresses interest, priority will be given to individuals at greater risk from coronavirus," it added.
The coronavirus, so named because under the microscope it resembles a crown, corona is Latin for crown, has killed at least 56 people in China and more than 2,000 have been infected.
Cities have been quarantined and China is building a 1,000-bed hospital for those who have contracted the virus.
Beyond China, the virus has spread to Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the U.S., Singapore, France, Vietnam and Canada.
Travelers from China are being screened for the virus at airports worldwide. Many airlines have suspended flights to Wuhan.
The World Health Organization held a meeting Thursday where it postponed a decision on declaring the outbreak a health emergency, saying it needed more information about the virus.