Canadian evacuees of the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently docked in Yokohama, Japan, have expressed frustration over the additional quarantine period awaiting them once they return to Canada.
“The extra quarantine seems excessive, we don’t understand why it’s being put in place,” said Diamond Princess passenger Kate Bedding in a Skype interview with CTV News.
“It’s a great disappointment for a lot of us who have now spent two weeks here and are anxious to get home,” she added.
Once the passengers have landed in Canada, they will be taken to the Canadian Forces base in Trenton Ont., to be assessed and then moved to the NAV Canada Training Institute in Cornwall, Ont., — known as the NAV Centre– for an additional 14-day quarantine period.
Just ten days ago, Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam said in a press conference that ship passengers who had already been in quarantine for two weeks and remained healthy, they would not be expected to be “a risk to the general public.”
Cornwall’s Mayor Bernadette Clement and local Conservative MP Eric Duncan said the government did not give the city any heads up, and that they found out about the plans on social media.
“I think there is more information that needs to get out there proactively,” he said, adding that although the centre has housed asylum seekers and refugees in the past, hosting people with “health issues” is “totally different” than what the community has hosted before.
Global Affairs Canada confirmed Saturday night that the government had chartered a plane to repatriate Canadian passengers from the quarantined ship, which has more than 300 people on board that have tested positive for COVID-19, including 15 Canadians.
Passengers will be screened for symptoms before boarding the flight out of Japan.
Those exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 will be denied boarding and transferred to a Japanese hospital for treatment, as outlined in the Global Affairs statement. Those who stay in Japan will have access to full consular assistance.
Update on NAV Centre quarantine area in Cornwall: I finally just got confirmation of a briefing by federal officials in my Ottawa office mid-day tomorrow. I will release an update/statement shortly afterwards.
— Eric Duncan (@EricDuncanSDSG) February 17, 2020