Australians stranded on Diamond Princess to be evacuated

Ruben Fields
February 18, 2020

A USA passenger gives reporters the thumbs up while arriving with others at Haneda Airport in Tokyo for a flight home, where they will face further quarantine after already being locked down on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Yokohama.

India will provide all possible assistance to its nationals on board the quarantined cruise ship moored off the Japanese coast to return home after they test negative in the final coronavirus tests that would begin on Monday, the Indian Embassy said on Sunday. Cruise operator Holland America said passengers and crew were screened for illness and that "there was no indication of COVID-19 on the ship". Japan has not been able to test all those on board the ship due to limited supplies of testing kits, facilities and manpower.

The ship has been under quarantined at a port city southwest of Tokyo since February 5.

But now an 83-year-old American woman who left the ship and took a flight to Malaysia has tested positive.

".the degree of transmissibility on that cruise ship is essentially akin to being in a hot spot". With Sunday's arrival, 29 people across the USA have been identified as carrying the virus - all of whom were under quarantine or self-isolated at home.

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Iltija Mufti, daughter of PDP president Mehbooba Mufti, on Wednesday took potshots at the visit of the envoys. The envoys are likely to be briefed by senior officers in Srinagar about security situation in Kashmir .

With the additional cases, the total number of positive cases on the Diamond Princess rose to 454.

Ottawa said it has chartered a plane to bring home numerous 255 Canadians on the Diamond Princess, where some 3,500 passengers have been stuck for 10 days amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus. From there, they'll be assessed and taken to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall, Ont., to undergo another 14-day quarantine.

Matthew Smith, one of the almost 400 Americans quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship for two weeks amid an outbreak of the coronavirus aboard, said on "America's Newsroom" on Monday that he and his wife are glad they decided not to evacuate and fly back home with the group because some of those Americans tested positive for the virus shortly before boarding the planes. "They had packed their suitcases, went for dinner, and when they got back the ship's authorities had put their suitcases back in their rooms", she said.

There are now more than 70,000 people infected with COVID-19, a lot of them from China. "Our staff in Tokyo, including the Ambassador, have been in regular contact with the British passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess and we have also been speaking to families in the United Kingdom". Outside China, there have been reports of 694 cases, causing three deaths. "The County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department is working to ensure that we protect the health and well-being of San Luis Obispo County residents".

Ilyina's defense lawyer argued during the court hearing Monday that she didn't pose any danger to people around her and noted that she was allowed into a courtroom packed with dozens of people, none of whom - including Russian health authorities - wore masks. They were repatriated by Canada from the Chinese province of Hubei, which includes the city of Wuhan, considered as the epicentre of the outbreak.

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