The US State Department will evacuate American citizens and their families aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that has been quarantined in a Japanese port for nearly two weeks as many passengers are infected with the novel coronavirus.
Passengers stand on the deck of the cruise ship Diamond Princess, as they continue to be tested for coronavirus. (Photo: Getty)
The United States said earlier on Saturday it would send an aircraft to Japan to bring back U.S. passengers on the quarantined Diamond Princess, where the most coronavirus infections outside China have occurred.
The cruise liners quarantine is set to end on Feb. 19.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, owned by Carnival Corp, has been quarantined since arriving in Yokohama on Feb. 3, after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong before it travelled to Japan was diagnosed with the virus.
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.
It was quarantined after a passenger who de-boarded last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the COVID-19 on the ship.
The Indian Embassy is in contact with Japanese authorities, the ship management company and Indian nationals on board the ship.
“We have continued our efforts with all of them for early disembarkation of our nationals after the end of the quarantine period and subject to favourable results of their tests for COVID – 19,” an embassy official told PTI on Saturday.