New Delhi: All 122 Indians who tested negative for coronavirus on the luxury cruise liner Diamond Princess off Japan coast will be finally brought back to homeland on Wednesday in a chartered flight. They will be put into a quarantine facility for two weeks in Delhi before finally being released. Also Read - Assam Police Arrests Opposition MLA Over 'Objectionable' Remarks on COVID-19 Quarantine Camps
A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were onboard the quarantined cruise ship among 3,711 people. Of them, 16 Indians have been tested positive with the deadly novel coronavirus, after two more people were tested positive in the latest round of medical tests. All the patients were shifted to a hospital where their condition is being closely monitored, and reported to be improving. Also Read - Boycott TikTok: Netizens Express Anger Over China For Introducing Coronavirus, Say 'Make China Pay'
The Indian Embassy in Japan had tweeted earlier in the day that arrangements were being made to repatriate the stranded Indian nationals. “A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indian nationals onboard Diamond Princess, provided they have (a) consented, (b) not tested positive for COVID19, (c) cleared by the medical team,” the mission’s tweet read. Also Read - COVID-19: Japan PM Shinzo Abe Declares State of Emergency, Likely to Release Economic Package Soon
The decision was taken after passengers showing no signs of the deadly disease started deboarding the ship after the quarantine period ended last week. However, over 1,000 passengers and crew still remain on board the ship after the disembarkations.
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. The ship has been quarantined since February 3 after a passenger with high fever was found to be the carrier of the disease.
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.