World, Americas

228 Canadians flown home from US-docked cruise ship

Passengers in 14-day quarantine at Canadian military base

Barry Ellsworth   | 10.03.2020
228 Canadians flown home from US-docked cruise ship FILE PHOTO

TRENTON, Canada

A flight with 228 Canadians from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship off the coast of the U.S. state of California landed Tuesday at a military base here in Trenton.

Passengers will go into a 14-day quarantine at the air base, located about 90 miles (144 kilometers) east of Toronto.

Before boarding the plane, passengers were screened for COVID-19 symptoms.

They were again screened upon arrival at Canadian Forces Base Trenton.

Originally 237 were to have been repatriated but nine stayed in California with medical conditions not related to the virus. Some Canadian crew members on the 3,500 passenger Grand Princess ship also remained in California because 19 of the crew of 1,100 were found to be infected.

The ship had been anchored off the California coast since March 4 because COVID-19 was detected on board during an earlier voyage.

“Protecting the health of all citizens is our priority and we are bringing Canadians home because of the number of cases on the Grand Princess,” Canada’s Health Minister Patty Hajdu said in a statement.

Canadian officials said they are co-ordinating efforts with provincial, territorial and public health officials to ensure the help for all Canadians who need it.

“We continue to work around the clock to provide assistance and consular services to Canadians in areas affected by COVID-19, including those who were aboard the Grand Princess,” said Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the military base will provide the best services possible to the returned Canadians.

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