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Homeland Security

Charter plane carrying quarantined Taiwanese arrives late Friday

ROC Central News Agency

02/21/2020 10:50 PM

Taipei, Feb. 21 (CNA) A China Airlines charter plane carrying 19 Taiwan nationals from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship arrived in Taiwan from Japan late Friday.

The 19 evacuees, along with four medical workers and seven flight crew, arrived at Taoyuan International Airport at 9:48 p.m. from Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

The Diamond Princess was held under quarantine in Japan's Yokohama Harbor from Feb. 4-19 after it emerged on Feb. 2 that a passenger from Hong Kong who had sailed on one segment of the itinerary was later diagnosed with COVID-19 coronavirus.

Of the 24 Taiwanese on the ship, including 22 passengers and two crew members, five were diagnosed with the virus and have remained in Japan for treatment.

The remaining 19 people who disembarked were allowed to leave the ship over the course of three days, with five on Wednesday, nine on Thursday and the final five on Friday.

At a press conference earlier Friday, Taiwan's Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said the evacuees will be tested for the virus at hospitals in Taipei and Taoyuan cities.

If anyone tests positive for the virus, they will be placed under medical quarantine, while those who receive two negative test results will be quarantined for 14 days at designated facilities, the CECC said.

As of Thursday, a total of 634 coronavirus cases had been confirmed on the Diamond Princess, out of the ship's original 3,700 passengers and crew.

(By Emerson Lim and Matthew Mazzetta)


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