Coronavirus: hopes of rescue flight home for Britons stuck on cruise

American evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship arrive at Joint Base San Antonio Lackland on Monday in San Antonio Texas

Hong Kong to arrange two flights to bring back residents on quarantined ship in Japan

The cruise ship was put in quarantine in Japan's port of Yokohama Feb 3 after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was found to have the virus.

British passengers David and Sally Abel, quarantined on the Diamond Cruise ship, say they've been tested positive for the coronavirus Covid-19.

The embassy said it was making efforts for early de-boarding of all the Indians from the ship after the end of the quarantine period and was in discussions with the Japanese government and the ship management company for the disembarkation modalities and welfare of Indians.

John Haering, a 63-year-old American who became infected with the coronavirus on board the cruise ship and is now hospitalized in Japan, tells the Times that he was upset with the US government's slowness.

The U.S. and Australia have told citizens that if they decline repatriation and an additional 14-day quarantine, they will not be allowed home for at least two weeks, suggesting they do not believe the ship-based quarantine has worked.

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A reporter asked whether it was appropriate to keep passengers and crew holed up on the ship for a long time. Anyone who tests positive will be hospitalized.

Yesterday a Number 10 spokesman said: "The Foreign Office is in contact with all British people on the Diamond Princess, including to establish interest in a possible repatriation flight".

"Currently 4 members of the Standing Rapid Deployment Team (SRDT), 3 experts from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and 7 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) medical personnel are being deployed to Japan to support the evacuation", Harvey said.

Others who were on board said they are grateful to the president and the USA government for rescuing them from the virus stricken vessel. Some 380 Americans were on the ship.

The death toll in mainland China rose by 98 to 1,868, in figures announced early on Tuesday morning, while the number of people infected globally stands at 72,436, according to the country's National Health Commission.

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Mr Russoniello is one of more than 200 Australians on board the Diamond Princess, but unlike the others he was not classified as a passenger and has instead been staying in the crew area of the ship.

Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, said Sunday that an infected person who shows minimal symptoms could still pass the virus to someone else.

His comments came amid doubts raised by some USA media outlets about Japan's response to the infections on the cruise ship.

Around half of the passengers aboard the Diamond Princess are Japanese with the rest foreign nationals, many of whom have expressed frustration over the quarantine.

Smith's wife Katherine Codekas was met with some surprise when she told authorities that she and her husband weren't going to go with the other American evacuees, KOVR reported.

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