RELIEVED American passengers on a cruise ship docked in Japan and filled with coronavirus patients are flying home – and facing another quarantine.
Many of the US residents aboard the Diamond Princess are taking buses from Yokohama, where the ship is docked, to Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
Diamond Princess passengers are transported by shuttle bus to the airport[/caption]
An airplane chartered by the US government and filled with American cruise ship passengers takes off from Haneda Airport in Tokyo[/caption]
At least 40 Americans who have been infected will not be allowed to get on planes to the US, according to officials.
The American passengers spent about two weeks in quarantine on the ship, according to the Wall Street Journal, and the ones who are leaving are facing another two-week quarantine after they arrive in the US.
Two charter flights carrying cruise ship passengers have left Tokyo and are en route to the US, the State Department said.
“We are glad to be going home,” Cheryl Molesky of Syracuse, New York told NHK in Japan.
“It’s just a little bit disappointing that we’ll have to go through quarantine again, and we will probably not be as comfortable as the Diamond Princess, possibly.
Buses carrying US passengers who were aboard the quarantined cruise ship leave port[/caption]
Passengers look out window of shuttle bus on way to airport[/caption]
Passenger Phil Courter wears a face mask aboard one of the chartered planes[/caption]
She added that “the biggest challenge has been the uncertainty.”
“It’s a little bit scary with the numbers going up of the people being taken off the ship for the [virus], so I think it’s time to go.
“I think it’s time to cut our losses and take off.”
About 70 more infections have been recorded on the Diamond Princess, raising the number of coronavirus cases on the ship to 355.
About 400 Americans were on the Princess Cruises ship when the quarantine started on Feb. 5, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Passengers on one of the chartered aircraft returning to US[/caption]
Japan has a total of 413 confirmed cases of the virus, including one death.
The Diamond Princess has about 3,500 passengers and crew members.
Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health told CBS’ Face the Nation that those showing symptoms will not be able to get on evacuation planes.
“If people on the plane start to develop symptoms, they’ll be segregated within the plane,” he told CBS.
He added that someone who is infected who has minimal symptoms could pass the virus to others.
American passenger Matthew Smith said in a tweet today that he saw a passenger with no face mask talking with another passenger.
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“If there are secondary infections on board, this is why … and you wanted me to get on a bus with her?” he wrote.
The number of coronavirus cases in China has soared over 70,000, with about 2,000 new ones reported in Wuhan, the epicenter of the outbreak.
There have been 15 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the US.
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