EPA/FRANCK ROBICHON

Local residents stranded in Diamond Princess cruise to return in HK charter flight

The Novel Coronavirus Response and Coordination Centre announced today that five Macau residents onboard the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess will be evacuated back in a charter flight arranged by the Hong Kong Government.

The five local residents – two men and three women are aged between 24 and 82 years old, with three also holding Hong Kong resident IDs – will disembark at the Hong Kong International Airport on February 19.

In the same flight – set to depart on Thursday – will be 350 Hongkongers also stranded at the cruise that will be flown back.

Two of the residents that also Hong Kong IDs plan to stay in the SAR, while the other three will return to Macau and be placed under medical observation and isolation for 14 days in a location designated by the Health Bureau.

The luxury cruise liner and its 3,711 passengers and crew have remained under quarantine since arriving at the Japanese city of Yokohama on February 3, after an elderly passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong tested positive for the virus.

Since then around 456 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported on the cruise, with several countries initiating special arrangements to evacuate their respective nationals from the ship.

Som 10 confirmed Covid-19 cases have been reported in Macau but with five having already been discharged from hospital care.