WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary on Saturday approved a request from the for the possible use of military facilities to accommodate 1,000 people who may have to be quarantined upon arrival from overseas due to a new virus.

A Defense Department statement said HHS officials requested the use of several facilities capable of housing at least 250 people in individual rooms through Feb. 29. HHS would be responsible for all care, transportation and security of the evacuees, according to the statement.

The viral outbreak began in China, where the death toll rose to 259 on Saturday. More than 11,900 people have been infected with the coronavirus globally, the vast majority of them on the Chinese mainland.

An order

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