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Number of virus-infected Canadians on Japanese cruise ship rises to 43

Click to play video: 'COVID-19 outbreak: Plane heads to Japan for Canadian cruise passengers' COVID-19 outbreak: Plane heads to Japan for Canadian cruise passengers
The federal government says a plane is on its way to Japan to bring back the Canadians stranded on-board the Diamond Princess cruise ship. As Heather Yourex-West explains, the news comes as the feds try to track down the Canadians who were just given the all-clear to leave another cruise ship, the Westerdam – Feb 17, 2020

The federal government says there are now 43 Canadians on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan who have contracted the novel coronavirus, just as others from the Diamond Princess are set to arrive home later this week.

At last count more than 450 people from the Diamond Princess, held in the port of Yokohama, had tested positive for the virus known as COVID-19. Authorities both in Japan and here say only people who are examined and found healthy would be allowed to fly to quarantine in Canada.

But not everyone who is healthy will travel.

READ MORE: More than 80% of COVID-19 cases have been mild, says new Chinese health report

Federal Health Minister Patty Hajdu says some aboard the cruise ship have indicated they plan to stay with ill family members, but their travel home, whenever it happens, will be tracked.

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They too will be subject to quarantine rules when they land.

She said there are others aboard the cruise ship who officials are still trying to get in touch with.

In all, there are 256 Canadians aboard the cruise ship.

 

Click to play video: 'Help on the way for Canadians on quarantined cruise ship in Japan' Help on the way for Canadians on quarantined cruise ship in Japan
Help on the way for Canadians on quarantined cruise ship in Japan – Feb 17, 2020

Those who have requested and been cleared to fly will leave Japan on Thursday and then arrive at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in southern Ontario, for health examinations before being moved on to a Nav Canada training centre in Cornwall, Ont., which includes a large hotel.

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Hajdu said the amount of time they stay in quarantine will be unique to each person based on the symptoms they show and whether they test positive for the virus.

READ MORE: Canadian protection standards for COVID-19 to be reviewed, health agency says

“In every circumstance, we’ll be considering that particular person’s health and the risk of further infection,” Hajdu said during a press conference in Trenton.

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“What we’re trying to do as a country is do our global part in containing the spread in Canada and I will say that I am very proud of the work that’s been happening at all levels of jurisdiction to reach that goal together.”

Hajdu visited the military base on Tuesday. CFB Trenton is housing Canadians airlifted from Wuhan, China, where the virus was first detected.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario couple ‘would like to go home’ after quarantine on Diamond Princess cruise ship' Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario couple ‘would like to go home’ after quarantine on Diamond Princess cruise ship
Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario couple ‘would like to go home’ after quarantine on Diamond Princess cruise ship – Feb 17, 2020

She met health workers, Canadian Armed Forces members and staff from the Red Cross, who are all trying to keep the people in quarantine healthy and not too bored while they wait out the incubation period for the respiratory illness.

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So far, no cases of COVID-19 have been detected there.

READ MORE: Ontario couple on quarantined Diamond Princess say days are ‘long and boring’

Most cases of the virus are mild, but the illness can be deadly, especially in people who are already in poor health. Eight people in Canada have tested positive for the virus, out of about 350 suspected cases, and none has died.

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