Fourteen Americans being evacuated by plane from Japan to the US after disembarking a cruise ship have tested positive for the coronavirus, officials said early Monday.
The infected were among a group of over 300 US citizens who were allowed off the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship on Sunday, according to the US State Department.
US officials said they learned of the positive test results as the evacuees were preparing to return to America on two chartered Boeing 747s.
“These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols,” the statement said.
“During the flights, these individuals will continue to be isolated from the other passengers.”
One flight is headed to Travis Air Force Base in California and the other to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, the Defense Department said.
It’s unclear whether the coronavirus patients were traveling on one or both planes.
The group was said to be screened for symptoms of the novel coronavirus before they were allowed to board the planes.
Officials said that upon arrival, all passengers will undergo an additional 14-day quarantine.
With Post wires