U.S. to evacuate Americans aboard quarantined cruise ship in Japan

Joanna Estrada
February 16, 2020

But the health ministry said Saturday that passengers older than 70 are being examined and those testing negative and in good health will be allowed to leave the ship from Wednesday.

The expert joins an global team in Japan to gather information about the passengers on board. She estimates that due to a month's worth of canceling surgeries and patient visits, she will have lost about $75,000 for her private practice during the more than a month she is away.

In a statement, the CDC said all of the travelers from Japan will be screened before boarding the State Department-chartered aircraft "to prevent symptomatic travelers from departing Japan".

The ship, called Diamond Princess, is carrying about 3,500 passengers and crew.

Besides the cases on the cruise ship, Japan has reported 55 others.

China's National Health Commission (NHC) said it received reports of 2,641 new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus infection and 143 deaths on Friday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Around 230 Americans who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the virus, are already in quarantine at Travis.

"We would like to just finish the quarantine on the ship as planned, decompress in a non-quarantine environment in Japan for a few days, then fly back to the United States pursuant to our own arrangements".

"From firsthand accounts, we are concerned about the existing level of care available on the ship, particularly to the 428 United States citizens aboard, as well as the national security concerns posed by reported quarantine conditions", the lawmakers wrote, according to The Post.

The ship was put under quarantine in late January after it was discovered that a man who had disembarked days earlier in Hong Kong had tested positive for the Coronavirus.

The update was given by the Indian Embassy in Japan a day after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Thursday informed that two Indian crew members have tested positive for Coronavirus.

The Australian Embassy in Tokyo emailed citizens aboard the cruise ship to say the Federal Government was examining options to assist more than 200 Australians quarantined on board.

As experts voice concerns over the quarantine's effectiveness, people onboard the ship have expressed fear and unhappiness with the living conditions. "Everyone I know on the ship is not infected". "I'll wear a hazmat suit, masks and gloves - whatever it takes".

"There are no clear, obvious precedents for what needs to happen", Inglesby said.

"They've basically trapped a bunch of people in a large container with [the] virus", David Fisman, an epidemiology professor at University of Toronto, told Vox. Cases have spread faster than other respiratory viruses this century. It's unclear if the virus can spread from the surfaces that a sick person has touched. There are some 3,700 passengers and crew on the Diamond Princess, including 15 Israelis.

Maniscalco's fellow passenger Melanie Haering was also concerned because her husband John Haering had tested positive with COVID-19 three days ago.

But American passengers who are evacuated will not be tested. Arana tells us she does not have coronavirus.

- With files from The Associated Press. "We've got our protective gear".

The new infection figures came as the United States was preparing to evacuate some of its citizens from the Diamond Princess, which has been in quarantine since February 5 in the port of Yokohama, near Tokyo.

On Saturday, the American embassy in Tokyo sent a letter to U.S. citizens aboard the ship informing them of the planned extraction scheduled for Sunday night.

Japanese public broadcaster NHK said 400 Americans were on board the cruise ship and the plane would leave Tokyo's Haneda airport as soon as early Monday.

French Health Minister Agnes Buzyn says Saturday that "I was informed last night of the death of an 80-year-old patient who had been hospitalized. since January 25".

"Those who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 will not be permitted to board and will instead be transferred to the Japanese health system to receive appropriate care".

Following the development, panic and resentment were spreading among the remaining Israelis aboard the ship.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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