Government of Canada evacuating Canadians on board Diamond Princess cruise ship

A passenger wearing a mask stands on the deck of the cruise ship Diamond Princess as the vessel's passengers continue to be tested for coronavirus at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama south of Tokyo in this

Some Americans disembarked Sunday night and boarded buses to take them to Tokyo's Haneda Airport.

The cruise ship is carrying around 3,600 crew members and passengers, including a 75-year-old couple from Cantley, Que., who have tested positive for the virus.

Canadian, Italian, South Korean and Hong Kong passengers were expected to follow soon, after their governments also announced plans to repatriate passengers.

She said they were told that if they tested negative they may not hear anything, but if they were positive they would be taken off the ship and sent to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The federal government said their Canadian Embassy in Japan was working to provide consular support to all 255 Canadians on board.

The Diamond Princess has been quarantined in Japan's port of Yokohama with some 3,400 people on board since 3 February after a man left the ship in Hong Kong and was found to have the virus.

"We are glad to be going home", Cheryl Molesky told NHK TV in Japan. "It's just a little bit disappointing that we'll have to go through quarantine again, and we will probably not be as comfortable as the Diamond Princess, possibly".

US citizens aboard the ship can choose not to take the chartered flight, but will be banned from returning to the U.S.

Two planes have been chartered to carry passengers back to the United States, with some staying at a military base in California and others going on to Texas. Overall, Japan has 413 confirmed cases of the virus, including one death.

"The biggest challenge has been the uncertainty", she added.

"I really don't have as much details as I would like to have at this time", she said in the video.

"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.

Anthony Fauci, director of the US' National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said that over a dozen of passengers have contracted the risky infection. 174 passengers are now confirmed to be infected with coronavirus as Japanese authorities continue treating people on board. Some 400 United States citizens have so far not been allowed to leave the ship after an 80-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus.

He added that people with symptoms would also not be able to get on the evacuation plane.

"Of course, in contravention of the rules of quarantine, she's not wearing a face mask, and she's talking with a passenger on the adjacent balcony".

Latest figures from Beijing on Sunday showed 68,500 cases of the illness and 1,665 deaths, mostly in Hubei province. At the time, Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said the ban would remain in effect until further notice and that Israelis who visited China will need to be quarantined at home for two weeks. He said he and his wife scurried away. "If there are secondary infections on board, this is why".

The preparations come as NSW Health said passengers arriving into Sydney on some cruise ships will be assessed by experts as a precautionary measure.

One Australian on board told the ABC the lack of information was frustrating, particularly given they watched USA citizens disembark overnight.

"What does WHO (World Health Organisation) have to say about this and I am sure cruel punishment like this has to be illegal".

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