More than a dozen Americans evacuated from a coronavirus-ridden cruise ship quarantined at a Japanese port and sent back to the US have tested positive for the coronavirus, US health officials said Monday.
Some three hundred American citizens were allowed disembark late Sunday night from the Diamond Princess, which has been held in quarantine at a port in Yokohama, Japan after passengers were found to have contracted the coronavirus.
Of those 300 Americans allowed off the ship and back to the US, 14 have been confirmed as having contracted the virus.
The American nationals were returned to the US on board two specially chartered Boeing 747 passenger aircraft.
According to the US government, the fourteen passengers were discovered to have contracted the virus as they were preparing to leave Japan for the US.
American officials promised ‘specialized containment’ areas on the aircraft to ensure that the virus does not spread.
“These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols,” the United States State Department said in a statement early Monday morning.
“During the flights, these individuals will continue to be isolated from the other passengers.”
One of the charted 747 flights is slated to land at the Travis US Air Force Base in California, while the second is being diverted to Lackland US Air Force Base in Texas, the Defense Department said.
All passengers, even those not found to have contracted the virus, will be required to wait in quarantine in the US for 14 days after their arrival.