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Chartered flight to bring back Indians on board cruise ship

PTI

Tokyo

A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indians on board the cruise ship off the Japan coast who have not tested positive for the novel coronavirus, the Indian embassy here said on Tuesday as the number of infected Indians on the vessel rose to 14 with two new cases.

A total of 138 Indians, including 132 crew and 6 passengers, were among the 3,711 people, on board the Diamond Princess ship when it docked at the Yokohama port, near Tokyo, on February 3.

“A chartered flight is being arranged to repatriate Indian nationals on board Diamond Princess, provided they have  (a)consented, (b) not tested positive for COVID19, (c) cleared by the medical team,” the mission tweeted on Tuesday.

“An email advisory to this effect, with details, has been sent to them,” it said.

Two more Indian crew members tested positive for COVID-19, taking the total number to 14, the embassy said on Monday, adding that all of them were responding well to the treatment.

“PCR test results announced, from the samples collected earlier, included 2 Indian crew members, on board  Diamond Princess, testing positive for COVID-19. Total number of crew members tested positive so far is 14- responding well to treatment,” the embassy tweeted on Monday.

Passengers showing no signs of the deadly disease started deboarding the ship after the quarantine period ended last week. Over 1,000 passengers and crew still remain on board the ship after the disembarkations.

The ship was quarantined after a passenger who disembarked last month in Hong Kong was found to be the carrier of the disease.

The Indian embassy had on Saturday said that Indians, who are still on board the ship, will be tested for the virus infection along with others after all the healthy passengers have disembarked.

Seventy-one new coronavirus deaths were reported from China, the epicentre of the disease, taking the total number of casualties to 2,663, while the confirmed cases rose to 77,658.

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