Americans Infected With Covid-19, Others On Cruise Ship Return To US

Joanna Estrada
February 17, 2020

Those who test positive are being moved to Japanese hospitals for treatment.

On Thursday, one person quarantined at Lackland tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the number of Americans infected to 15, according to the CDC.

The federal government said their Canadian Embassy in Japan was working to provide consular support to all 255 Canadians on board. "It just hones the point that isolating us here was wrong and that we should have been taken to a quarantine in Israel. I suppose we could have been taken out and shipped home in a sterile way, but it wasn't done".

The Health Ministry dispatched its deputy director, Itamar Grotto, to Japan to secure the release of the remaining Israelis and escort them back to the country.

The US embassy in Japan sent a letter to American passengers and crew members Sunday morning announcing the flights, adding they were the "only opportunity for eligible passengers to fly to the United States until March 4, 2020, at the earliest".

The end of the quarantine was supposed to come on Wednesday, and passengers anticipated being able to return home.

According to Ottawa Public Health, there continues to be no confirmed or presumptive positive cases of the virus in the city.

It is understood the individual was part of the group of British holidaymakers who were infected by a "super-spreader" during a trip to the French Alps. "We need a proper quarantine".

Phil and Gay Courter, the Crystal River couple quarantined aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan, may be headed back to the United States soon.

Meanwhile the first group of USA citizens onboard the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship have been allowed to leave. It was not immediately clear if they were already counted among the 355 known cases on the ship.

An announcement on the public address system aboard the Diamond Princess, where 3,700 passengers and crew have been held since February 3, told Americans to get ready to disembark on Sunday evening for charter flights home.

The Telegraph previously revealed that health officials are planning to dramatically escalate containment measures if cases reach the hundreds, by ordering anyone with flu-like symptoms to "self-isolate" for a fortnight.

Forty of the USA passengers tested positive for the virus and were rushed to hospitals in Japan, said Anthony Fauci, a senior official at the National Institutes for Health.

"They are not going to go anywhere".

The Courters tell ABC Action News they were tested for the coronavirus yesterday.

Canada, South Korea, Hong Kong and Italy have announced flights home for their citizens and residents. The ministry had previously only required the 14-day isolation for recent travelers to China.

In China, authorities have placed about 56 million people in Hubei and its capital Wuhan under quarantine, virtually sealing off the province from the rest of the country in an unprecedented effort to contain the virus. El Al said in January it was pausing flights to China for a two-month period due to the outbreak of the virus. Over the past day, 2,009 new cases of virus infection have been reported, bringing the total of people infected across China so far to 68,500.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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