Hope is on the way for some 400 Americans trapped in coronavirus quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan — the US government is preparing to evacuate them, according to a report.
The State Department is arranging for two planes to transport some 380 US citizens from the cruise liner back to the US as early as Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday night, citing an official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The ship has been stuck off Yokohama since Feb. 5, and since then, the number of confirmed passenger coronavirus cases has risen to 218, according to CDC stats.
A team was in Japan Friday to assess the health of the passengers, the CDC official — Henry Walke, director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections — told the Journal Friday.
Anyone with a fever, a cough or any other symptoms of the deadly respiratory virus will be barred from traveling on the planes.
Those who make the flight will likely be taken to Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, Calif., or to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where they will undergo mandatory testing and further quarantine.
The trapped passengers were treated to Valentine’s Day gifts of roses and chocolates, one American passenger tweeted.