Qantas jet ready to evacuate Australians from quarantined cruise ship in Japan

The flights landed at Travis Air Force Base and Lackland Air Force Base late Sunday night.

Asked how the Department of Health will ensure that COVID-19, which has spread to other countries like the Philippines, will be contained once the cruise ship passengers arrive in the Philippines, Vergeire said the agency will have to closely study the "mode of how they got infected on the ship".

Almost 99 more people on the cruise ship off Yokohama have been confirmed infected with novel coronavirus, Japanese media reported on Monday.

"During the evacuation process, after passengers had disembarked the ship and initiated transport to the airport, US officials received notice that 14 passengers, who had been tested 2-3 days earlier, had tested positive for COVID-19", the State Department and Department of Health and Human Services said in a joint statement.

A passengers is seen on a balcony of the Diamond Princess cruise ship. They were also exposed to a compulsory 14-day quarantine in military bases upon birth from the U.S.Canada, Hong Kong and Italy also have been making attempts to evacuate their citizens out of the quarantined cruise boat. "I've just lost a whole month of my life".

A passenger on one of the planes told the Times that some on her plane had tested positive for the virus but did not have symptoms, and they were segregated in a tented area.

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However during the evacuation procedure, after passengers had abandoned the boat and gone into the airport, USA officials received a note that 14 passengers, that were analyzed two to three times before, had tested positive for COVID-19, the illness brought on by the novel coronavirus.

She pointed out that not all of them were infected on the first day.

Matthew Smith, an American passenger on the ship, said on Twitter early Sunday that a fleet of buses came to take Americans from the Diamond Princess to their flights to the United States.

The Japanese Ministry of Health confirmed the news on Saturday 15 February, reporting on the nationalities of the 67 people newly infected. Many of them remain in hospitals around Japan. It's unclear exactly how many US citizens have tested positive for the virus other than the 46 reportedly infected. Most of the cases have been diagnosed in China and the Chinese authorities pointed to a slowing death rate as proof that their methods of dealing with the outbreak are working. Japanese authorities announced Thursday tentative plans to allow those who remain on the ship to disembark and finish their isolation period on land.

"It is what it is", she said.

The US on Monday evacuated its 340 nationals from the ship. The flu-like virus now has killed more than 1,700 people, Reuters reports.

  • Sonia Alvarado