For the travelers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was docked in Japan and briefly became a coronavirus nightmare scenario for those on board, getting home was a top priority. Not wanting to spread the disease any further, the passengers were locked down and gradually tested before they could be safely released.
Unfortunately, some of the passengers who were sent back to the United States did indeed have the virus, despite previous tests still pending. As CNN reports, over a dozen people who were flown back to the US on charter flights tested positive for the virus. The tests were apparently conducted days before their evacuation.
With the world’s health officials keeping an incredibly close eye on the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19, countries like the United States are doing their best to ensure that individuals who have the virus are stopped and quarantined before being allowed to carry out their normal lives. In the case of the 14 individuals who were passengers aboard the Diamond Princess and are now in the United States, that means a lockdown period at military bases once they arrived in the country.
“After consultation with HHS officials, including experts from the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the State Department made the decision to allow the 14 individuals, who were in isolation, separated from other passengers, and continued to be asymptomatic, to remain on the aircraft to complete the evacuation process,” the agencies said in a statement.
Those who had tested positive for the virus were isolated from other passengers during the flight back to the United States, and anyone who may have had even the slightest contact with those passengers is being kept under observation. Moving individuals who are positive for a contagious virus between countries is risky, but officials believe they have been able to contain any possible spread and that those who have returned to the US and remain under quarantine will not be able to spread the disease to others.