Travis Air Force Base Prepares Coronavirus Airlift Of Diamond Princess Passengers

Coronavirus outbreak: Indian Embassy making efforts to disembark all Indians from Japan ship

The Diamond Princess is morphing from vacation paradise to disease incubator.

The letter to Americans on the Diamond Princess warns, "Should you choose not to return on this charter flight, you will be unable to return to the United States for a period of time".

"We understand this is frustrating and an adjustment, but these measures are consistent with the careful policies we have instituted to limit the potential spread of the disease", it said. The DGCA circular was further quoted as stating, "It is advised to place the suitable signages at strategic locations at all the airports and getting the self-declaration form filled by the passengers as per the instructions of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare".

The commission said 513,183 close contacts have been traced, adding that among them 30,081 were discharged from medical observation on Friday, with 169,039 others still under medical observation.

The passengers will undergo temperature checks and observation for respiratory symptoms, the CDC added.

But in a letter, the USA embassy in Tokyo said healthy American citizens on board would be screened for symptoms before being able to board the plane home on Sunday.

The US announced late on Friday that it would be evacuating more than 400 nationals from the quarantined ship, which has had almost 300 confirmed coronavirus cases, and British travellers called on their government to do the same.

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people on board the quarantined ship that arrived at the Japanese coast earlier this month.

On February 12, the ship's owner Princess Cruises announced Japanese health officials are allowing passengers to disembark voluntarily to complete their quarantine on land.

It had some 3,700 passengers and crew on board. So far, 285 people from the ship have tested positive for the new virus after 67 new cases were found Saturday. The quarantine was scheduled to be lifted Wednesday.

"They are very concerned about spreading the virus, and there's no good way to transport people from Japan without possible transfer of virus, so it is the logical thing to do", Sawyer Smith, 25, told Reuters.

The aircraft will land in the U.S. at Travis Air Force Base in California, with some passengers continuing onward to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

Travis Air Force Base is already the quarantine site for more than 200 Americans previously evacuated from Wuhan. Two of those people were being treated at the University of California San Diego Health Center, and many US evacuees from China have been quarantined at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

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