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February 15, 2020updated 19 Feb 2020 7:40am

Countries preparing to evacuate citizens from Diamond Princess cruise ship

Countries such as the US, Hong Kong and India are preparing to evacuate their respective nationals from the quarantined Japanese cruise ship, Diamond Princess.

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Countries such as the US, Canadan, Hong Kong and India are preparing to evacuate their respective nationals from the quarantined Japanese cruise ship, Diamond Princess.

The US government will send a chartered aircraft to evacuate its citizens onboard the coronavirus Covid-19-hit  Diamond Princess cruise ship.

The US embassy in a letter to the American passengers stated the chartered plane will arrive in Japan on Sunday evening to airlift about 380 citizens. The aircraft will depart from Haneda Airport in Tokyo on Monday.

Once the aircraft arrives at Travis Air Force Base in California, US, passengers will be taken to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. They will be required to undergo a further quarantine of 14 days, according to the letter.

Hong Kong also announced on Saturday that it would arrange flights to take home about 330 nations from the quarantined cruise ship.

Canda issued a statement on late Saturday that it would charter a plane to evacuate its citizens onboard Diamond Princess. The government said that it would transfer its passengers exhibiting Covid-19 symptoms to Japan for further treatment instead of airlifting them to Canada.

Indian embassy in Japan said it is making efforts to evacuate nationals onboard the cruise ship. The embassy is in contact with Japanese authorities in working out the next steps.

Japan stated that it will cooperate with other countries making similar arrangements for their citizens onboard the ship, which has been docked since 4 February.

On Saturday, another 67 people on board the ship have been tested positive with the virus. This takes the number of infections on board the ship to 285. Out of around 3,700 people on board the ship, 428 are Americans.

Both passengers and crew members have raised complaints that the sanitary conditions onboard are becoming progressively worse.

The death toll due to the new coronavirus Covid-19 has increased to 1,669 with 142 new deaths in China and one in France as of the end of 15 February. The total number of deaths in mainland China reached 1,665.

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