The Latest on the outbreak of a new virus from China:
South Korean police say protesters have thrown plastic water bottles and paper cups at the country’s vice health minister to oppose plans to quarantine Wuhan evacuees in their neighborhood.
The rally took place Wednesday in the southern town of Jincheon, where residents protested the government plan to isolate in their neighborhood some of the South Koreans who will be evacuated from the Chinese city at the center of a new virus.
Vice Health Minister Kim Gang-lip visited the area to explain the plan. Police said Thursday it wasn’t clear if Kim was hit by objects thrown at him.
Photos showed some protesters grabbing Kim’s arms while his upper jacket was partially ripped.
Officials say Kim was apparently unhurt and attended a parliamentary committee meeting on Thursday.
A Japanese official says 13 of 210 evacuees who returned from the virus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan to Tokyo had cough, fever or other health issues and are expected to be sent to designated hospitals.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga says Japan is negotiating to evacuate some 300 more citizens and their families from Wuhan as early as Thursday.
Shigeru Omi, the former regional director for the World Health Organization who now heads Japan Community Health Care Organization, said that two evacuees who tested positive for the virus without showing any symptoms could have spread the disease further. He urged Japanese health authorities to step up surveillance measures based on that assumption.
Japan has confirmed 11 cases, including two suspected human-to-human transmissions in people who had not visited China.
New Zealand’s government is chartering a plane from national carrier Air New Zealand to get people home from Wuhan.
Foreign Minister Winston Peters says the plane will take up to 300 passengers. He says officials are working through operational requirements with authorities from both countries and that the flight is still subject to approval from China.
He says any spare seats would be offered to Australian or Pacific island citizens. New Zealand officials are preparing to isolate incoming passengers for up to two weeks.
Singapore meanwhile says it flew back 92 of its citizens from Wuhan on Thursday.