First group of Canadian passengers from China are released

Published On February 21, 2020 | By Jeremy Yudin | News
Jeremy Yudin
Passengers sit on a plane after they left the coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess at Haneda Airport, Tokyo Japan February 21, 2020 in this picture obtained from social media. Lolita Wiesner via REUTERS.

After 14 days in quarantine, the first wave of Canadians who were evacuated from Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, are finally free.

The evacuees have been quarantined for the last two weeks at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in Ontario. They were monitored every day by the Canadian Red Cross.

The evacuees stayed in a new facility called Yukon Lodge, a facility that resembles a hotel and is often used for military personnel. Support was available from local health authorities and hospitals.

The group was stuck in Wuhan, China due to the outbreak of the coronavirus, until the federal government sent a plane to bring them home.

The other group of Canadian passengers who were stuck at sea aboard the quarantined cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, arrived at Trenton on Friday morning to be screened for coronavirus and were then transported to Nav Centre in Cornwall to begin their own 14-day quarantine.

“The Government is pleased to have repatriated more than 500 Canadians and their family members from areas affected by the novel coronavirus abroad, including those who have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. We will continue to provide full support to those Canadians who remain in Japan,” said Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne in a news release.

Patty Hajdu, the Minister of Health, said in a news release that the quarantine facility will remain isolated and safe.

“The risk to Canadians, including those living or working in the communities in and around Cornwall, remains low. The returning Canadians have been through a stressful experience over the past couple of weeks. During their quarantine in Canada, we will offer support for both their mental and physical well-being. We will also continue with measures to protect the general population from exposure to the virus,” said Hajdu.

The group landed just after 2 a.m. to be screened in Trenton, ON for signs of the coronavirus. 47 Canadians from the cruise ship tested positive for coronavirus.

The Diamond Princess passengers got on a bus for a two and a half hours to a hotel in Cornwall, ON while the quarantine zone in Trenton, ON will be cleaned.

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