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US says it is tracking 50,000 Americans who might need help getting home due to coronavirus pandemic

The State Department is tracking 50,000 Americans who might seek assistance returning to the US due to the...

Posted: Mar 25, 2020 5:47 PM
Updated: Mar 26, 2020 12:13 PM

The State Department is tracking 50,000 Americans who might seek assistance returning to the US due to the coronavirus pandemic, the head of the repatriation task force said Wednesday -- a dramatic increase from the department's estimate from days ago.

'At the moment we are keeping a running tally of the number of US citizens we estimate will seek our help in returning to the United States. This number changes daily, hourly,' Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Consular Affairs Ian Brownlee said on a call with reporters.

'At the moment we're tracking approximately 50,000 we think might seek to return to the United States,' he said.

RELATED: Fort Wayne student stuck in Peru due to closed borders amid COVID-19 pandemic

The number is more than triple the figure the State Department was tracking just two days ago. On Monday, a senior State Department official said they were looking at approximately 13,500 Americans abroad who were seeking US assistance after flight restrictions and border closures mean to combat the spread of coronavirus left them stranded.

Brownlee, who heads the department's repatriation task force, said Wednesday that they had repatriated 'over 9,000 people from some 28 countries.'

'We're planning on another 66 flights over the next nine days or so,' he said. 'We have some 9,000 people scheduled -- identified for those flights and we hope to move those numbers up.'

Many of the citizens and their families stuck abroad have previously told CNN they are still struggling to get clear answers from the agency tasked with protecting their health and well-being overseas.

Asked by CNN what message they want to send frightened Americans overseas trying to get home, State officials essentially say, 'get out while you can' -- a foregone option for many stuck in countries where borders suddenly closed and flights were canceled.

'If you are a US citizen, and you are abroad at the moment, take a look at your circumstances, determine whether this is a place where you'd be willing to hunker down for an indeterminate period of time, as airspace and borders, etc., close down,' the senior official said.

'If you are somewhere where you think, 'No, this is not where I would want to be over the long haul,' take advantage of existing commercial opportunities and get out now.'

The official said they were 'hesitant to give a guarantee' that they would be able to move every single person, noting 'we're hearing about people who are in very remote locations in very remote parts of the world.'

This story has been updated with additional information Wednesday.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 118322

Reported Deaths: 3591
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion21502767
Lake10688323
Elkhart6707111
St. Joseph6619113
Allen6330205
Hamilton4938109
Vanderburgh378131
Hendricks2766124
Monroe265536
Tippecanoe256613
Johnson2352124
Clark225957
Porter219947
Delaware200162
Cass19559
Vigo186827
Madison170375
LaPorte149141
Floyd139664
Warrick138242
Howard132663
Kosciusko125917
Bartholomew118457
Marshall101524
Dubois99919
Boone99146
Grant95134
Hancock94643
Noble93132
Henry81226
Jackson7739
Wayne77014
Morgan73438
Daviess68028
Shelby68029
Dearborn67528
LaGrange64011
Clinton62314
Harrison59224
Putnam58411
Gibson5355
Knox5289
Lawrence51629
Montgomery51121
DeKalb48811
White48714
Decatur45939
Miami4394
Greene42735
Fayette42313
Jasper4012
Scott39011
Steuben3907
Posey3460
Sullivan33812
Jennings31612
Franklin31325
Clay3085
Ripley3078
Orange28824
Whitley2826
Carroll27813
Adams2763
Wabash2728
Starke2717
Washington2701
Wells2674
Spencer2633
Jefferson2503
Huntington2473
Fulton2442
Tipton22822
Randolph2238
Perry22113
Jay1920
Newton17411
Owen1711
Martin1680
Pike1641
Rush1574
Vermillion1310
Fountain1292
Blackford1213
Pulaski1141
Crawford1100
Parke1072
Brown1043
Benton870
Ohio797
Union790
Switzerland690
Warren411
Unassigned0226

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 151802

Reported Deaths: 4746
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin27119607
Cuyahoga17554656
Hamilton13237315
Montgomery7938164
Lucas7343364
Butler6085111
Summit5366252
Warren311549
Marion311147
Mahoning3095281
Stark2913175
Pickaway267944
Lorain233386
Delaware230621
Fairfield213253
Licking194963
Columbiana194080
Wood192172
Trumbull1916132
Clark183940
Clermont174423
Lake164851
Greene149034
Medina147539
Miami146351
Allen146269
Portage116866
Mercer113218
Erie95947
Tuscarawas94120
Wayne94068
Richland92219
Ross89624
Madison84312
Darke80643
Geauga72649
Athens7242
Belmont72427
Hancock72010
Lawrence67122
Ashtabula66048
Shelby66010
Putnam61923
Auglaize6119
Sandusky58020
Huron5557
Union5512
Scioto5167
Seneca48814
Ottawa47130
Preble44515
Muskingum4383
Holmes3959
Jefferson3384
Henry33414
Defiance33012
Champaign3133
Logan3133
Clinton30213
Perry3009
Brown2922
Knox28815
Washington26223
Jackson2616
Morrow2612
Fulton2591
Hardin25713
Crawford2476
Ashland2464
Coshocton23411
Fayette2336
Highland2303
Williams2143
Wyandot21312
Pike2020
Gallia19613
Meigs17610
Guernsey1738
Hocking1679
Carroll1527
Adams1364
Van Wert1243
Monroe11018
Paulding1100
Harrison643
Morgan500
Vinton473
Noble340
Unassigned00
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