Americans from coronavirus-stricken cruise ship in Japan flown back to U.S.

Americans from coronavirus-stricken cruise ship in Japan flown back to U.S.

Two planes carrying hundreds of Americans taken off a quarantined cruise ship in Japan arrived at U.S. military bases overnight. The first touched down at Travis Air Force Base in California and the other landed several hours later in Texas. Some of those passengers were then flown to Omaha, Nebraska. The planes brought evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which remains quarantined after an outbreak on board of the deadly new coronavirus.

Japan’s Defense Minister tweeted early Monday that Japanese troops had helped move about 340 U.S. nationals from the ship at Yokahama port to Tokyo’s Haneda airport to board the flights.  

The U.S. government confirmed at least 14 Americans on the U.S.-government chartered planes had tested positive for the new COVID-19 disease just before departing Japan. There were kept in isolation during the long flight home and were taken for treatment upon arrival. All the other passengers — who have already spent almost two weeks quarantined on the ship — were facing another two-week quarantine in the United States.

Flight Evacuating American Cruise Ship Passengers Exposed To Coronavirus In Japan Arrives In US
American evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship board buses at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland on February 17, 2020 in San Antonio, Texas.

Edward A. Ornelas/Getty

Japanese officials said Monday that 99 more infections were confirmed on the Diamond Princess, which is owned by Florida-based Carnival Corp. Hundreds of others on board had already been diagnosed with the virus.

As of Monday, the World Health Organization put the global death toll from the virus at 1,775. All but three of those deaths were in China. The organization also reported 71,429 cases. Those totals include cases that were confirmed in a lab and cases that were confirmed clinically. The WHO decided Monday to include the clinically confirmed cases, which are slightly less certain, in the totals.

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