Three dozen people evacuated from China to France showed symptoms of coronavirus, French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn said, but the 20 that remained on the tarmac at a French Air Force base later tested negative for the illness.
The evacuation flight ferried 254 people, a number from countries outside of France, from Wuhan to Europe on Sunday. Wuhan is the epicenter of the new coronavirus.
Some 20 people, including French nationals and people from outside of Europe, stayed on the tarmac at Istres airport after showing symptoms of the coronavirus, Buzyn told reporters, according to AFP.
Another 16 people, all foreign nationals, were flown to their respective countries after showing signs of the virus. Sixty-four people on the flight, which included 30 different nationalities, were French. The French nationals and 60 non-European nationals, including people from Mexico, Brazil, and Rwanda, were being quarantined for 14 days near Aix-en-Provence.
People who showed no symptoms were being allowed to fly onto their home countries, French officials said. Six coronavirus cases have been confirmed in France, the second-most in any country in Europe.