Maltese aircraft assisting in evacuations from Wuhan

A medical worker in protective suit checks the body temperature of a driver at a checkpoint outside the city of Yueyang, Hunan Province, near the border to Hubei Province that is on lockdown after an outbreak of a new coronavirus, China, January 28, 2020. REUTERS/Thomas Peter

A Malta-registered aircraft will be assisting in the evacuation of European citizens from the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak that has seen public health organisations the world over go on high alert.

Aviation news site Airlive confirmed that the Malta-registered Airbus A380-841 with registration number 9H-MIP was headed to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport en route to Wuhan.

The virus, which has shown evidence of human-to-human transmission, has caused at least 170 deaths and has since spread from Wuhan to other parts of China and to other parts of the world, including France and Germany.

While it is hypothesised to have been transmitted from animals – most likely bats sold at a seafood market in Wuhan – the source is yet to be confirmed.