Feb 18, 2020 - Health

Diamond Princess cruise ship evacuees go into U.S. quarantine

American evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship arrive at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in San Antonio, Texas, on Monday. Photo: Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images

328 American evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have been put into quarantine at U.S. military bases after arriving from Japan, including 14 infected with the novel coronavirus, U.S. government health officials told reporters Monday.

Details: "A select number of high-risk patients were transported onward from both locations using those same aircraft to Omaha, Nebraska, for care at the University of Nebraska," Health and Human Services official Robert Kadlec said at the news briefing.

  • These included six passengers from the Travis Air Force Base in California, which landed just before midnight on Sunday, and seven from the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas, which arrived early Monday, said William Walters, managing director of operational medicine at the State Department.

Infected passengers: Kadlec said the State Department was not aware that 14 of the evacuees had contracted COVID-19 as they left the cruise ship at Yokohama Port and that the patients had tested negative for the virus a few days earlier.

  • "If those results had come back four hours earlier before we’d started to disembark the ship and before these people were evacuees within an evacuation system, then it would’ve been a different discussion," Walters said.

The big picture: The outbreak on the ship began after a guest from Hong Kong sailed from Yokohama on Jan. 20 before disembarking back home on Jan. 25, Princess Cruises said. He showed no symptoms aboard the ship, but tested positive for coronavirus in a Hong Kong hospital six days later.

  • Over 40 Americans who had been on the Diamond Princess had previously been confirmed as infected and will remain in Japanese hospitals for treatment, NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Face the Nation" Sunday.
  • Evacuees will undergo 14 days of quarantine in the U.S. 61 Americans remain aboard the ship, according to a note on the briefing transcript.

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Diamond Princess exodus begins as CDC raises health concerns

Passengers are leaving the Diamond Princess cruise liner after a two-week quarantine in the port of Yokohama, Japan. Photo: Igor Belyayev/TASS via Getty Images

Japan began releasing hundreds of people from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday, but the 100-plus American passengers are restricted from traveling home for at least 14 days, the CDC said.

Details: The CDC said in a statement the two-week quarantine aboard the vessel, quarantined at Yokohama, potentially slowed transmission of the virus. But it "may not have been sufficient to prevent transmission among individuals on the ship."

Go deeperArrowFeb 19, 2020 - Health

First Diamond Princess deaths: Coronavirus claims lives of 2 passengers

A bus carrying passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship leaves the cruise terminal in Yokohama, Japan on Thursday morning. Photo: Kazuhiro/AFP via Getty Images

Two elderly passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died of the novel coronavirus, Japan's health ministry confirmed Thursday.

Why it matters: These are the first deaths among the 600-plus people who have been infected aboard the vessel.

Go deeperArrowFeb 20, 2020 - Health

Coronavirus-hit cruise ship cleared to dock in Oakland, California

The Princess Cruises' Grand Princess cruise ship sits off the coast of San Francisco on Saturday. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Grand Princess cruise ship, stranded off San Francisco's coast with 21 people aboard who've tested positive for the novel coronavirus, has been cleared to dock in Oakland, California, on Monday, operator Princess Cruises said in a statement.

Details: Princess Cruises initially said in a statement early Sunday authorities had cleared it to arrive at the Port of Oakland later in the day "to begin disembarking guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization." But it later said after further review by state and federal authorities the docking day had changed, with a "time to be determined."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 8, 2020 - Health