Canada to evacuate passengers from coronavirus-hit cruise ship

Ambulance workers in protective gear drive an ambulance near cruise ship Diamond Princess, at a maritime police's base in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan February 5, 2020. (Reuters)

Canada has chartered a plane to evacuate its citizens onboard the Diamond Princess cruise liner docked in Yokohama, Japan, the Canadian government said in a statement early Sunday.

Canadian passengers who exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus infection will not be permitted to board the flight and will instead be transferred to the Japanese health care system to receive appropriate care, the government said.

After arriving in Canada, the passengers will undergo a 14-day period of quarantine, the statement added.

The United States and Hong Kong have said they will send aircraft to Japan to bring back passengers from the quarantined cruise ship, which has seen the most coronavirus infections outside of China.

The cruise ship, owned by Carnival Corp, and carrying some 3,700 passengers and crew, has been quarantined in Yokohama since February 3 after a man, who disembarked in Hong Kong before it traveled to Japan, was diagnosed with the virus.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:01 - GMT 07:01