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US military ready to house 1,000 for virus quarantine

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Washington (AFP)

The United States military will provide accommodation for 1,000 people if they need to be quarantined because of the deadly novel coronavirus, the Department of Defense said.

Several facilities each capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms will be made available until February 29, the department said in a statement.

The US is one of a number of countries isolating citizens returning from the center of the outbreak at Wuhan in central China as the new virus spreads across the globe.

More than 300 people have died and over 14,000 have been infected, while many foreign governments have evacuated their nationals.

Two US Air Force bases, in California and Texas, along with a Marine Corps air station in California and a training institute in Colorado, will be offered if needed, the department said.

It added that the Department of Health and Human Services, which had requested military assistance, would be responsible for all care, transportation and security of evacuees.

On Friday US officials imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on 195 Americans flown out of Wuhan.

The plane carrying the group, which includes diplomats and their families, touched down at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, on Wednesday.

The US has declared a public health emergency and temporarily banned the entry of foreign nationals who have traveled to China over the past two weeks.

The virus has spread to more than two dozen nations, with eight cases confirmed in the US.

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