Evacuees of the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship will head to Cornwall to continue their quarantine, Global Affairs announced late Saturday.
The federal government has chartered a plane to bring home some of the 255 Canadians aboard the ship docked in Japan, where some 3,500 passengers have been stuck for 10 days amid an outbreak of the novel coronavirus, now COVID-19 virus.
So far, 355 people have been infected, including 15 Canadians, two of whom are confirmed to be from Gatineau.
“In light of the extraordinary circumstances facing our citizens on the Diamond Princess, we are taking action to return Canadians home from Japan, while ensuring that appropriate measures are in place to prevent and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus," Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a written statement.
Passengers will be screened before boarding the plane. Anyone showing symptoms will be transferred to the Japanese healthcare system.
Those who make it onto the plan will be brought to Canadian Forces Base Trenton in southern Ontario, which is about three hours southwest of downtown Ottawa.
From there, they’ll be assessed and taken to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall located about an hour-and-a-half southeast of downtown Ottawa to undergo another 14-day quarantine.
The timing of the chartered plane and arrival of the evacuees have not yet been announced.
Champagne said about 250 Canadians on a separate cruise ship off the shore of Cambodia have all tested negative for the coronavirus and will be returned to Canada at the expense of the cruise line, Holland America.
About 400 Canadians also remain under quarantine at CFB Trendon, but the Public Health Agency of Canada confirmed Saturday that all were healthy and without infection.
According to Ottawa Public Health, there continues to be no confirmed or presumptive positive cases of the virus in the city.
The total number of cases in Canada remains at eight – five of which are in B.C. and three in Ontario.
- With files from The Canadian Press