YOKOHAMA, Japan – The United States Embassy in Tokyo told Americans on board the ship on Saturday that the United States will evacuate Americans from the cruise ship that has been quarantined for more than a week in Japan due to infections from the Coruna virus.
American passengers and crew members were told in an email from the embassy that a charter flight would arrive on Sunday for anyone who wanted to return to the United States. Hundreds of Americans are on board.
“We realize that this was a stressful experience and we remain committed to providing all the support we can and see you safely and safely reunite with family and friends in the United States,” read the email.
The American buses and their properties will be transported from the ship to the chartered plane, which will land at Travis Air Force Base in California, according to the email. After that, some passengers will continue to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
Evacuated Americans will need to be quarantined for two weeks in the United States. “We understand this is frustrating and modifying, but these measures are in line with the careful policies we have put in place to reduce the potential spread of the disease,” read the email.
He said those who chose not to board the plane “will not be able to return to the United States for a while.” Americans were required to notify the embassy if they wanted to travel with immediate family members who were not US citizens.
The ship, the Princess, was placed under quarantine in Yokohama earlier this week with some 3,700 passengers and crew on board, after a man who left in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the Coronavirus. Since then, at least 218 new cases have been confirmed on board.
Many passengers expressed fear that the quarantine, which aims to protect Japan and prevent the spread of the virus, puts them at risk. Experts said the infection could spread aboard the ship, despite measures taken to isolate people.
Japan has more confirmed cases of coronavirus – the vast majority of them diamond princesses – than any country outside China, where the outbreak began, and reported its first death from the virus on Thursday.
The Japanese government said on Friday that an official who helped transport infected patients from the cruise ship had tested positive for HIV. A positive result was tested by the presence of a Health Ministry official who was leaning towards the passengers on the plane.
As of Thursday, 40 HIV-positive Americans were taken from the ship for treatment, and hundreds are still on board. in a Friday press interviewNancy Messonnier, an official at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said that officials are discussing a plan to ensure the safety of Americans.
“It is really important for all of us that these people be safe and take good care of them,” said Dr. Messoner. “We are also concerned that data from Japan indicates that there is a greater risk among people on board the ship, and therefore their safety is of the utmost importance.”