February 2, 2020 / 10:35 PM / a month ago

Plane carrying Portuguese from coronavirus-hit Wuhan touches down in Lisbon

Portuguese nationals who were in the coronavirus-stricken Chinese city of Wuhan are pictured at Figo Maduro military airbase in Lisbon, Portugal February 2, 2020. Mario Cruz/Pool via REUTERS

LISBON (Reuters) - A military airplane carrying a group of mostly Portuguese nationals who were stuck in coronavirus-hit Wuhan, the capital of China’s Hubei province, touched down in Lisbon late on Sunday.

Portugal’s minister of health, Marta Temido, said all 20 evacuees, including two Brazilians, agreed to be kept in isolation for 14 days as a preventive measure, a protocol followed by several other European nations.

Portuguese law states that compulsory hospitalisation is reserved for cases related to mental illness, meaning the 20 evacuees had to place themselves into voluntary self-isolation.

All group members, which also included two Portuguese diplomats, were subjected to various medical tests - before taking off and after arrival - to check if they had symptoms of coronavirus.

The evacuees were part of a larger group of 250 repatriated European nationals who landed at a military airbase in southern France on Sunday morning.

Reporting by Catarina Demony and Miguel Pereira; and Leslie Adler

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