Canadians stuck on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan are coming home. Ottawa said on Saturday it was sending a chartered plane to pick them up. The ship has been quarantined in Japan due to the coronvirus.
Several Canadians have tested positive for the illness.
“This decision was taken because of the extraordinary circumstances faced by passengers on the Diamond Princess, and to lighten the burden on the Japanese health care system,” said a joint statement from Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Health Minister Patty Hajdu and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan. “We are working closely with Carnival Cruise lines and the government of Japan to assist in this evacuation.”
The ship is carrying about 3,600 passengers and crew. More than 300 have tested positive or are showing symptoms of COVID-19. The Diamond Princess has been docked in Japan since February 3.
The ship has been docked in Yokohama since Feb. 3 carrying around 3,600 passengers and crew.
Canadians who are not showing symptoms of COVID-19 infection will be flown from Japan to CFB Trenton, after which they will be assessed and transported to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall to undergo a further 14-day period of quarantine.
There will be a health screening before Canadians board the plane. Anyone showing symptoms of coronavirus will be sent to a Japanese hospital for care.
Timing of the chartered plane has not been announced.