Second quarantine begins for Canadians coming from Japan
EDMONTON -- Canadians who spent two weeks quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan have arrived back in Canada to undergo a second quarantine for coronavirus.
Mark and Jenny Rodrigue, a married couple of 35 years from Edmonton, were two of 129 passengers who landed at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ont., at 2 a.m. EDT after an 11-hour flight from Tokyo.
The pair have kept in touch with CTV News throughout their journey, taking videos of the boarding process in Japan and touching down in Canada.
In one clip, the passengers walk through a foot bath on the tarmac to decontaminate their shoes after coming off the plane.
At the Trenton base, Mark said they were taken through a cleaning station and checked by Red Cross. He described the process as "very organized."
"This is the most organized part of the ordeal here. We just walk though. We got our checked-in luggage, and then we handed it back to another guy, who's going to take it to Cornwall."
The Rodrigues and their fellow repatriates have been taken to Cornwall's NAV Centre, a large hotel and conference centre, for another two-week quarantine. There, they'll be monitored for signs of COVID-19.
"I think it's a must to protect anybody in case the virus did leak out," Jenny told CTV News a day earlier, while waiting on a bus in Tokyo.
"I'm just grateful that I'm retired and I don't have too much to worry about. I do feel sorry for the people with children at home, family at home that they're caring for, and their animals, and if they have to go back to work, it must make it very difficult for them.
"But we feel okay about it. But we're aching to get home of course."
However, she added it was even a relief to be off the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship on which they had been quarantined for two weeks in Japan.
"It's uplifting to talk to other people, to sit with other people around, instead of being confined in the cabin."
According to Global Affairs, 256 Canadians had been on the ship; 48 tested positive for COVID-19. Seventy-nine other Canadians that were not on the charter plane nor tested positive declined Canada's offer to be brought back to Canada.
No one who arrived in Ontario from Japan had any symptoms of the novel virus, Global Affairs said.
Officials are telling Cornwall residents the risk of contracting coronavirus from those who've come from Japan is "extremely low," though some businesses have decided to temporarily close.
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On Friday, 180 Canadians who were quarantined after arriving in Canada on the first government-chartered flight from Wuhan were released. All "remained asymptomatic" throughout the quarantine, the Public Health Agency of Canada said.
The Canadians who returned on the second Canada-chartered flight will remain at CFB Trenton until their quarantine period is over on Feb. 25.
In Alberta, 117 people have been tested for COVID-19 as of Feb. 21. No one has tested positive.
With files from CTV News