Fourteen Americans among the more than 300 people flown back to the United States from a cruise ship docked off the coast of Japan have tested positive for novel coronavirus during the evacuation process but were permitted to continue to the U.S., according to the Departments of State and Health and Human Services.
The agencies said in a joint statement Monday that officials were notified that the 14 passengers had tested positive for the disease after they and the other Americans had left the Diamond Princess, reports CNN. They had undergone testing two or three days before the evacuation flights began.
The decision was made, though, to "allow the 14 individuals, who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft," the departments' statement said.
Meanwhile, another 44 Americans aboard the ship have tested positive for coronavirus and will recover at hospitals in Japan, Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post Sunday.
One of the flights arrived at Travis Air Force Base near Fairfield, California, around 11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday, reports CNN, with the other landing shortly before 4 a.m. local time Monday at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas.
All the passengers were monitored closely during the flights, with anyone becoming symptomatic to be moved into the specialized containment area on the planes.
The passengers developing symptoms and the ones who had already tested positive were to be taken to an "appropriate location" for care, while the other passengers are to remain under quarantine for 14 days.
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