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S. Korea to fly its nationals out of Wuhan this week over coronavirus concerns


South Korea said Tuesday it will send chartered planes to the central Chinese city of Wuhan this week to bring home its nationals amid concerns about the global spread of a new coronavirus originated in China.

The flights will be operated Thursday and Friday to evacuate hundreds of South Koreans staying in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak of the pneumonia-like illness, according to government officials.

The plan was unveiled at an emergency ministerial meeting presided over by Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun.

China has suspended all trains, flights and public transportation linked to Wuhan since last week, imposing a lockdown on the city in Hubei province. The virus has killed at least 106 people and infected more than 4,500 in China alone.

South Korea ratcheted up its infectious disease alert level to the third highest Monday as the country has reported four confirmed cases of the Wuhan coronavirus infection. (Yonhap)