Taiwanese Diamond Princess passengers and crew to arrive home late on Feb. 21

China Airlines expects 19 Taiwanese citizens to board charter flight

A bus carrying Diamond Princess passengers Thursday Feb. 20. 

A bus carrying Diamond Princess passengers Thursday Feb. 20.  (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A China Airlines (CAL) charter flight will arrive in Taiwan Friday evening (Feb. 21) with the 19 Taiwanese passengers and crew from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess, according to media reports.

A total of 24 Taiwanese citizens, 22 passengers, and two crew members had been on board the cruise liner being quarantined in Yokohama, but five who had tested positive for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) were not allowed to fly home immediately.

CAL had applied to send flight CI7550 to take off from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport at 1:30 p.m. Friday to fly to Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, and the aircraft will arrive back in Taoyuan as flight CI7551 at around 10:30 p.m., CNA reported.

Before boarding the plane, the Taiwanese will undergo additional tests, and if the coronavirus is suspected, they will not be allowed on the flight, according to the Liberty Times.

Upon its arrival, the plane will be towed to a hangar, from which the Diamond Princess passengers and crew will be ferried to hospitals for further tests. Any positive cases will remain in the hospital for treatment, while those testing negative for the virus will be moved to a quarantine center where they will have to stay for 14 days.

An additional measure requires that their luggage, after being disinfected, remain in quarantine at the airport for 14 days.

Passengers who tested negative for the virus began disembarking from the Diamond Princess Wednesday (Feb. 19). On Thursday, the first two deaths from the cruise ship were announced: two Japanese citizens in their 80s. Of the 3,711 people on board, more than 500 have been diagnosed with the virus.

Updated : 2021-01-21 17:19 GMT+08:00