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France to evacuate citizens from Wuhan as Europe braces for more coronavirus cases

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A traveler coming from Beijing and wearing a mask arrives at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.
A traveler coming from Beijing and wearing a mask arrives at Charles de Gaulle airport, Paris.   -  
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Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. - Kamil Zihnioglu
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Health authorities across the world are racing to try and find a vaccine to respond to the rapidly growing spread of the coronavirus.

The mysterious new illness has left tens of millions under quarantine in China, while the French Government has announced plans to try and evacuate its citizens away from the region.

France's Health Minister, Agnès Buzyn, said the government was working to get people home as quickly as possible.

"A medical team will be assigned to the repatriation. It is already being assembled by the Health Ministry in order to prevent the virus from spreading on the homeland. The people being repatriated will be monitored by medical professionals and will stay for 14 days in a facility," she said.

The move comes as governments across Europe assess how best to deal with the new health threat.

German airports have set up special screening measures at six airports across the country that handle flight traffic from China, while the UK is examining records of people that have travelled from the region in recent weeks.

The UK's Home Secretary, Priti Patel, said the British Government was prepared to handle the outbreak.

"This is a fast moving situation, there's work taking place in Government right now. Every day we're watching the situation, we're working as I've said with the World Health Organisation, authorities in China too, to assess how we can practically give assistance, but also what other measures we will have to undertake and the government's working on that right now," she said.

More cases emerging

In Austria, a flight attendant has been placed in isolation in Vienna after flying from Wuhan on January 23. Health authorities say she was not feeling well after returning from China and called emergency services late at night. She has been transferred from her hotel to the Kaiser Franz Josef Spital hospital.

The World Health Organisation has not changed its risk assessment of the virus since the last risk assessment was conducted on 22 January.

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