FAIRFIELD (CBS13) — The United States chartered plane carrying Americans who were quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan has landed at Travis Air Force Base on Sunday night.
The U.S. State Department said 14 passengers on the flight to the US tested positive for the new virus during the evaluation process before takeoff. The Department of State said in a press release that after consultation with the Department of Health and Human Services, a decision was made to allow those 14 individuals to remain on the plane to complete the evaluation process.
Officials said those individuals were moved to a specialized containment area to isolate them from the rest of the passengers on board.
The CDC said that all travelers from Japan were screened for the novel coronavirus once they planned on getting off of the Diamond Princess ship and again prior to getting on the plane headed for the US.
The CDC also told CBS13 that passengers were being monitored every step of the way.
The flight landed just before 11:30 p.m. at Travis AFB. The base says that Americans on the flight are going to be quarantined for 14 days, or move on to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.
A Diamond Princess spokesperson said 282 individuals on the cruise ship tested positive for the new virus, with 46 of those being Americans.
A Travis Air Force Base spokesperson said that this latest group of evacuees will not be housed in the same hotel on base as those from Wuhan.
“The logistical support and management of the quarantine will continue to be led by HHS and the CDC. No Travis Airmen will have contact with the passengers,” a spokesperson with the Travis AFB said in a Facebook post.
CBS13 spoke with Matthew Smith, who’s from Sacramento and is on the Diamond Princess with his wife. Smith said watching the folks from the cruise ship disembark for the flight to the US was something he couldn’t believe.
“To see all of the Japanese military and all people in the different sorts of protective gear, and to think you’re at the center of this world story, worldwide attention, nothing less than completely surreal is my sentiment,” Smith said.
Smith and his wife told CBS13 that they chose not to get on the flight to the US, saying that they are confident in the quarantine going on in Japan on the Diamond Princess. Smith said they expect to have that quarantine lifted in the next couple of days.