Albertans quarantined on cruise ship waiting for test results as Ottawa prepares to bring Canadians home
EDMONTON -- Two Edmontonians who are waiting for the federal government to remove them from a cruise ship quarantined in Japan have been told they'll be screened again before being able to return home.
If tests done Saturday turn out positive for coronavirus, Jenny and Mark Rodrigue say they will be instead be transferred to a Japan hospital.
Although the Rodrigues say they've shown no symptoms, they have heard of others who felt fine and still ended up contracting the novel virus now known as COVID-19.
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"You don't know, and that's the problem," Mark said. "Half this boat was probably infected prior to the Feb. 5 quarantine period, so maybe none of us are coming home
The couple is two of 255 Canadians aboard the Diamond Princess, a Princess Cruises ship, who have been quarantined for 10 days outside Yokohama.
The ship is considered the largest concentration of people sick with coronavirus outside China: more than 350 people have tested positive, include 15 Canadians.
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A charter flight back to Canada will leave Japan on Monday, the same day the Rodrigues hope to learn their test results.
The Canadians who return will then be quarantined for 14 days between CFB Trenton and Cornwall, Ont.
The Edmontonians were shocked to hear they'll have to endure another isolation period, even with negative test results, but said they'd rather do so on home soil.
"I'd do the same thing, I guess," Mark commented. "I wouldn't want somebody coming back into my neighbourhood with the possibility of them being infected. So we can understand that."
Jenny added, "It would be nice to be in our home country."
It is unknown how long those who test positive will have to stay in Japan for treatment, but Global Affairs said they will continue to receive full consular services from the government.
Medics from the Public Health Agency of Canada and Canadian Armed Forces are already on the ground in Japan.
The timing of the chartered plane has yet to be announced.
Champagne said about 250 Canadians on a separate cruise ship off the shore of Cambodia, the Westerdam, have tested negative for the coronavirus and will be returned to Canada at the expense of the cruise line, Holland America.
The U.S. began evacuating its citizens on board Diamond Princess on Saturday. They will also be put through another two-week quarantine before they are able to go home.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Joey Slattery, CTVNews.ca, and The Canadian Press