300 Americans Will Return; Will Be In Quarantine


TOKYO (AP) – Americans Cheryl and Paul Molesky will exchange a coronavirus quarantine for another.

The Syracuse couple, New York, will interrupt a 14-day quarantine at the Diamond Princess cruise ship located in the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, to return to the United States, where they will have to spend another two isolated weeks inside a facility military to make sure they don’t have the new virus that has spread throughout Asia.

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About 380 Americans are on the cruise. Japan’s Ministry of Defense said some 300 would leave by bus to Haneda airport in Tokyo. The State Department has organized charter flights to take them back to the United States. Canada, Hong Kong and Italy are planning similar flights.

The US embassy in Tokyo said they are evacuating Americans because passengers and crew aboard the Diamond Princess had a high risk of exposure to the virus.

The Americans will be transferred to the Travis Air Force Base in California, and some will continue to the Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. Upon arrival, everyone must spend another 14 days of quarantine, which means that they have been in isolation for a total of almost four weeks.

“We are glad to return home,” Cheryl Molesky told NHK TV in Japan. “It’s a bit disappointing that we have to go through quarantine again, and we probably won’t be as comfortable as in the Diamond Princess.”

“The biggest challenge has been uncertainty,” he added.

Molesky also said she was worried about the increasing number of patients on the ship.

“It’s a little scary to the amount of people who leave the ship because of the virus, so I think it’s time to leave,” he said.

Japan announced on Sunday another 70 infections in the Diamond Princess, bringing the total number of cases on the ship to 355. Overall, the country has 413 confirmed cases of the virus, including one death.

All Americans will be checked before they can board the chartered flight, and those who show symptoms of illness may not go up, the US embassy reported. Those who have already tested positive for the virus will not be taken to the United States.

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The Associated Press journalist Emily Wang collaborated from Tokyo.

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