Coronavirus: US base workers involved in quarantine work facing harassment by public: 'This needs to stop'

Workers at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County said they have been "accosted in uniform" by members of the public and have been subjected to "hateful" statements recently over coronavirus fears


                            Coronavirus: US base workers involved in quarantine work facing harassment by public: 'This needs to stop'
(Getty Images)

Workers in one of the few quarantine bases in the United States built for suspected coronavirus patients have claimed that they are facing harassment from the nearby public. Workers at an Air Force Reserve base in California, where a group of Americans has been kept under quarantine after being evacuated from China, on Monday, said they are being harassed by the public over coronavirus fears. 

The novel coronavirus, termed 2019-nCoV, has triggered a global alarm, as the number of deaths surpassed 1,000 on Tuesday in China alone. More than 40,000 people have also been affected because of the virus, which has spread to over 27 countries across the world. 

Workers at the March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County said they have been "accosted in uniform" by members of the public and have been subjected to "hateful" statements recently, NBC News reported. A letter was released from base officials to county residents, saying: "This is not acceptable, and needs to stop."

A patient is transferred by an ambulance to the Infectious Disease Centre of Princess Margaret Hospital on January 22, 2020, in Hong Kong, China (Getty Images)

"You do not need to exclude household or family members of [March Air Reserve Base] personnel, nor do you need to require them to obtain unnecessary 'clearance letters' from a physician or health authority," the letter continued, adding that those who work on the base have not had any exposure to the people put in quarantine.

None of the base workers, service members or civilians at the particular California facility have tested positive for the deadly virus. However, at least 12 cases of the virus have been confirmed in America, mostly from the citizens who had recently traveled to China. 

No vaccine has yet been developed for the virus, which originated from a wet seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China. The symptoms of the virus are similar to that of the flu, however, in certain cases it develops into pneumonia, which can be fatal. The first American citizen's death related to the virus was reported earlier this month on February 6, in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak. 

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