US to evacuate Americans from cruise ship quarantined at Japan port

Japan cruiseship quarentined Diamond Princess 1

Cruise ship Diamond Princess is anchored off the shore of Yokohama south of Tokyo on Feb. 5 2020

The U.S. charter flight will arrive in Japan Sunday evening, according to a statement from the embassy on Saturday.

Worldwide health officials say they have no way of knowing yet how far the epidemic is going to spread.

Nicole Ben-David told Ynet, "We didn't get any notification from the ship's crew, doctors or the embassy".

There are a total of 428 Americans onboard the ship, The New York Post reported.

Some American passengers aboard the ship said they would pass up the opportunity to take a flight to the USA because of the additional quarantine.

Passengers on the quarantined cruise ship on the coast of Yokohama, Japan finally started disembarking on Friday, before being quarantined.The Japanese Health Ministry said passengers allowed to leave so far must be elderly - at least 80 or older - or have a medical condition, or have a windowless room on the ship.

Neither she nor her husband Roger Maniscalco were showing any symptoms, she said, speaking after the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo emailed passengers to tell them about the evacuation plan.

Outside mainland China there have been about 500 cases in some two dozen countries and territories, with five deaths in Japan, Hong Kong, the Philippines, France and Taiwan.

He added that an infected person who shows minimal symptoms could still pass the virus to someone else.

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The ship was set to remain in quarantine until February 19, until it was announced Friday that those who test negative will be allowed off the ship and into housing sponsored by the Japanese government, Business Insider reported.

"Mr Abel, however, also revealed his concerns for passengers" mental health today.

Chinese Health Commission spokesman Mi Feng said the slowing rate of new cases was proof that curbs on travel and other drastic measures were having an impact at last: "The effect of the coronavirus controls is appearing", Mi told reporters.

"We must prepare our health system to face a possible pandemic diffusion of the virus and, therefore a circulation of the virus on the national territory", she said.

The Mission is also coordinating with relevant Japanese authorities and the cruise company to ensure the well-being of all Indian nationals on-board the ship and for their early disembarkation after the end of the quarantine period.

Earlier Sunday, health minister Katsunobu Kato said 1,219 people on the ship had now been tested for the virus, with 355 diagnosed with the illness. One netizen said that imagine you are trapped and only the Americans are able to get out. "If there are secondary infections on board, this is why".

"Take us from here, throw us in some hangar in Israel", said quarantined Israeli Shalva Dahan, according to the report. "I've now given up on anybody in the United Kingdom, quite frankly", he said. The couple said they're glad they bought a deck of cards to pass the time.

Three Indians were among the 218 people infected with COVID-19 on the ship.

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