The US government is ordering the evacuation of consular personnel and their family members in Wuhan, the city at the epicentre of the rapidly escalating coronavirus outbreak.

The decision was made because of the circulating virus and “logistical disruption stemming from restricted transportation and overwhelmed hospitals in the city,” according to a US embassy spokesman in Beijing.   Although Wuhan has been on lockdown since Thursday, a 230-seat charter flight carrying American consular staff is expected to depart on Sunday.

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