Coronavirus plane carrying 32 passengers from quarantined cruise ship lands

A repatriation flight carrying 32 British and European passengers potentially infected with the deadly coronavirus has landed in the UK.

The plane touched down at Ministry of Defence base Boscombe Down in Wiltshire, after the passengers were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan.

It took off from Haneda airport in Tokyo late on Friday and landed in the Boscombe Down Ministry of Defence base near Salisbury, Wiltshire, on Saturday morning.

The flight also has British government and medical staff on board, the Foreign Office said.

They arrived back home on Saturday after spending more than two weeks stuck on a quarantined cruise ship in a Japanese port, due to the coronavirus outbreak – which claimed the lives of two passengers on board.

Meanwhile, a Brit couple diagnosed with coronavirus after spending two weeks in quarantine on board the Princess Diamond have contracted pneumonia.

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The family of David and Sally Abel, from Northamptonshire, said they have now been moved to a "prison"-like hospital.
The couple were on the cruise for their 50th wedding anniversary when it was placed into quarantine.

Mr Abel has now been diagnosed with acute pneumonia, while Mrs Abel has mild pneumonia.

Although they were originally in a hospital just 90 minutes from the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, Mrs Abel called her son in the middle of the night to say the couple were suddenly being moved to a different "three-star" hospital.

They landed at the defence ministry airfield on a government-chartered plane from Tokyo and were being taken straight to quarantine facilities.

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The Diamond Princess liner was carrying 3,700 people, including 78 Britons, when it was quarantined in Yokohama on February 5 after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was found to have the virus.

More than 620 passengers on board have been infected with the coronavirus, the most outside mainland China.

Some British passengers had already been evacuated over the last week on flights to Hong Kong, the BBC reported. Others were being treated for the virus in health facilities in Japan.

At least four UK nationals contracted the virus onboard, but those arriving home on Saturday had tested negative.

As of Friday afternoon, a total of 5,549 people in Britain have been tested for coronavirus, of whom nine were positive.

  • Coronavirus

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