UPDATE: 2nd plane sent to evacuate Canadians lands in Wuhan, China
Global Affairs Canada said the second plane sent to evacuate Canadians from quarantined Wuhan, China – the city where the coronavirus originated – has landed and is waiting to board passengers.
“We cannot predict the final number of passengers who will be on this flight,” said Global Affairs Canada spokesperson, Krystyna Dodds in a statement. “We will try to keep families together,” she said.
Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, said the charter plane will be landing back in Canada on Feb. 11.
The total number of Canadians confirmed to have novel coronavirus at home and abroad has risen to 15 after a cruise ship now docked in Yokohama, Japan confirmed 66 new cases including one Canadian.
The total number of infected Canadians aboard the ship is now eight.
All of the estimated 3,600 passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship have been in quarantine since Feb. 5 and were expected to be kept on the ship for 14 days.
Back in Canada, seven cases have been confirmed with four people infected in British Columbia and three in Ontario.
Canada’s federal government said Sunday it was monitoring the well-being of the 285 Canadians aboard.
However, some of those who are still in China including Trudy Clement, a Canadian being quarantined on the Diamond Princess, say they are stressed.
“I am very afraid of getting sick,” said Clement to CBC reporters in a video call.
She said the wife of a man in the cabin next to her was taken off the boat and sent to a hospital somewhere outside of Tokyo.
Another cruise ship anchored near Hong Kong also had Canadian passengers but were given the all-clear on Sunday by Chinese health officials, allowing all passengers and crew members to leave.
According Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, all of the 213 Canadian citizens who are being kept at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont. have not shown symptoms of the virus.
176 of the Canadians quarantined in Trenton travelled from Wuhan and the rest came from a U.S. flight which departed shortly after.
Even though most cases of the illness are not severe, it can still be deadly to some people.
China reported that the death toll has risen by 97 in 24 hours and 3,062 new cases have been reported with 908 dead.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said coronavirus is still a threat to Canadians, which is why Canada is helping China contain the virus by sending medical supplies.