The Latest: Evacuation flight from Wuhan lands in Vancouver

BEIJING (AP) — The Latest on a virus outbreak that began in China (all times local):

2:10 p.m.

A plane carrying Canadian citizens from Wuhan, China, has landed in Vancouver.

The evacuation flight organized by the Canadian government is refueling in Vancouver before flying to a military base in Ontario.

Several dozen more Canadian passengers left China on board a United States government flight that departed a few hours later.

All 176 evacuees from Wuhan will spend 14 days under quarantine at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, where they will be monitored to see if they have contracted the virus.

Canada has now six confirmed cases and the U.S. 12.


12: 55 p.m.

The Asian Development Bank says it will distribute $2 million to strengthen measures to detect and respond to the virus in China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

The bank said Friday that the money will pay for diagnostic and laboratory equipment and for improved outbreak surveillance and response, especially in rural areas.

The viral outbreak that began in China's central Hubei province has infected more than 31,400 people worldwide. China confirmed 31,161 cases and 636 deaths as of Friday. More than 310 cases have been confirmed outside mainland China, including two deaths in Hong Kong and the Philippines.


12:30 p.m.

China's official news agency says President Xi Jinping has urged the U.S. to “respond reasonably" to the virus outbreak in a phone call with President Donald Trump.

China's foreign ministry has previously complained that the U.S. was flying its citizens out of the worst-hit city of Wuhan but not providing any assistance to China.

More generally, China has said other countries, many of whom have imposed travel bans or quarantines on travelers from China, should follow WHO recommendations on reacting proportionately to the threat.

The White House says Trump “expressed confidence in China’s strength and resilience in confronting the challenge" of the outbreak in his conversation with Xi.

Communist Party newspaper Global Times says Xi told Trump China has “full confidence and capability to overcome" the outbreak and that the “long-term positive trend of the Chinese economy remains unchanged."


10:55 a.m.

Japan's fourth chartered flight has returned to Tokyo from Wuhan, the epicenter of a viral outbreak in central China, carrying 198 Japanese evacuees and their Chinese spouses.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told reporters Friday that so far nobody was seen having obvious symptoms of the coronavirus infection. He says they will be all screened at a hospital before being sent to a government facility near Tokyo for quarantine.

At 86, Japan now has the highest number of cases outside mainland China. On Friday, Japan reported 41 more cases aboard a quarantined cruise ship.


10:10 a.m.

Art Basel Hong Kong, a major cultural and business event for the city, has been canceled amid the virus outbreak.

The annual art fair, which drew more than 80,000 people last year, had been scheduled to take place from March 19 to 21.

Organizers say "our thoughts are with everyone who has been affected around the world. We remain committed to Hong Kong and look forward to welcoming you to the next edition of Art Basel Hong Kong, which will take place March 25 to March 27, 2021."

It's the latest in a range of cultural, academic and sporting events canceled or postponed in China, Hong Kong and elsewhere because of the outbreak. Tourism is also down considerably and internal travel within China off by around 70%.

Hong Kong has reported 22 cases of the virus and has ordered a 14-day quarantine for all travelers entering the city from mainland China starting Saturday.

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