Indians onboard cruise ship in Japan to be brought back on chartered flight

Diamond Princess ship was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the disease. Photo: PTI

After two more Indians onboard the cruise ship off the Japan coast tested positive for the novel coronavirus, taking the total number of patients to 14, the Indian embassy on Tuesday said a chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indians who have tested negative for COVID 19.

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people, onboard the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3.

In a tweet, the Indian embassy in Tokyo, revealed the arrangement of the chartered flight.

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The embassy said on Monday that all 14 patients were responding well to the treatment. “PCR test results announced, from the samples collected earlier, included 2 Indian crew members, onboard Diamond Princess, testing positive for COVID-19. Total number of crew members tested positive so far is 14- responding well to treatment,” the embassy tweeted on Monday.

Passengers showing no signs of the deadly disease started deboarding the ship after the quarantine period ended last week. Over 1,000 passengers and crew still remain on board the ship after the disembarkations.

The ship was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the disease. The Indian embassy had on Saturday said that Indians, who are still on board the ship, will be tested for the virus infection along with others after all the healthy passengers have disembarked.

Seventy-one new coronavirus deaths were reported from China, the epicentre of the disease, taking the total number of casualties to 2,663, while the confirmed cases rose to 77,658.

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