UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Americans on the Diamond Quarantine ship, off the coast of Japan, will not return to the United States on a charter flight to evacuate Americans, a Japanese government official told reporters on Saturday.
Another government official said in the same statement that other countries would likely follow the example of the United States and request the evacuation of its citizens from the ship before the quarantine period expires on February 19.
The United States had announced that it would send a plane to Japan to return its citizens on the quarantine ship which had the highest number of cases of coronavirus outside China.
The US embassy in Japan said on Saturday in a letter to the passengers on the ship that a chartered plane will arrive in Japan on Sunday evening and that it recommends “out of great care” that American citizens board it and return to the homeland for further examination.
The letter added that the passengers would have to remain in quarantine for 14 days after arriving in the United States, and if they preferred to stay, they would not be able to return home “for a while.”
He added that passengers will also be examined before the flight and that the US government is cooperating with Japan so that anyone who shows symptoms of the disease receives appropriate care if he does not board the plane.
The Diamond Princess, owned by Carnival Corp, was quarantined for two weeks upon arrival in Yokohama on February 3, after tests confirmed a man on board and had landed in Hong Kong.
There are about 3,700 people on the ship. Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said on Saturday that 67 new cases of the virus had been confirmed, bringing the number of cases on board the ship to 285.
Those found to be infected are being transferred to Japanese hospitals.
The NHK said there were more than 400 Americans on the ship.
The quarantine period for the cruise ship ends on Wednesday, February 19.
This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for OBSERVATORY NEWS from different countries around the world – material edited and published by OBSERVATORY staff in our newsroom.
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