US is to evacuate 428 Americans from Diamond Princess cruise ship and put them in 14-day quarantine at California Air Force base
The US is to evacuate 428 Americans who have been trapped on board a cruise in Japan after 218 passengers and crew were struck by the coronavirus.
Two State Department planes will be dispatched tomorrow to repatriate the Americans and their families and the evacuees will then be screened at Travis Air Force Base in Sacramento, in California.
CDC officials have said that some will be forced to undergo a mandatory quarantine, which will most likely last 14 days.
The cruise ship initially had 3,700 passengers and crew on board and was put under a two quarantine on February 5 – during which time the number of cases on board has rise to 218.
The U.S. embassy in Tokyo said in a letter to passengers that the aircraft would arrive in Japan on the evening of Feb. 16 and that it recommended ‘out of an abundance of caution’ that U.S. citizens disembark and return home for further monitoring.
The passengers would be required to undergo further quarantine of 14 days upon arriving in the United States.
‘We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease,’ the letter said.
‘Should you choose not to return on this charter flight, you will be unable to return to the United States for a period of time. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will make a final determination on this matter,’ it added.