Taiwanese Diamond Princess passengers test negative for coronavirus

Results from second round of tests for Taiwanese transported back home from cruise ship expected Sunday afternoon

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A plane carrying Taiwanese Diamond Princess passengers and crew arrived at Taoyuan airport late Friday (Feb. 21) 

A plane carrying Taiwanese Diamond Princess passengers and crew arrived at Taoyuan airport late Friday (Feb. 21)  (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwanese passengers and crew from the Diamond Princess who arrived in Taiwan late Friday (Feb. 21) all tested negative for the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), with the results of a second test expected Sunday afternoon (Feb. 23).

A total of 19 Taiwanese passengers and crew members and one doctor flew from Tokyo to Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on a China Airlines charter. They were subjected to two rounds of tests and are expected to start a 14-day quarantine period.

The first tests took place on Friday at 11:30 p.m. immediately after members of the group were transferred to three hospitals, CNA reported.

The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Saturday afternoon that all the tests had shown negative for the virus. A second round of tests were taken after 11:30 p.m. Saturday, with results expected Sunday afternoon.

If the outcome is also completely negative for coronavirus, the group will be moved to a quarantine center for 14 days, according to the CNA report.

The Diamond Princess carried 3,711 passengers and crew. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases surged to more than 500 as the cruise liner was quarantined in Yokohama harbor for two weeks.

Two elderly Japanese passengers died, while seven Taiwanese citizens tested positive, leading to their transfer to local hospitals. As a result, they were unable to board Friday’s flight home.