Two Greek nationals, passengers on cruise ship “Diamond Princess,” were repatriated on Saturday morning and transferred to a hospital in Athens where they will remain in preventive quarantine for 14 days. The two Greeks were ‘trapped’ in the cruise ship since early February.
The ship initially carried 3,700 passengers and crew members from 56 countries and regions when it arrived in Yokohama, Japan. About 970 passengers who tested negative for the pneumonia-causing virus reportedly left the cruise ship over a three-day period from Wednesday to Friday.
The quarantine of the cruise ship began around Feb. 3 after it made stops in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Taiwan and Okinawa. More than 600 people on the vessel are infected with the deadly virus.
The Greek Ministry of Health issued the following statement about the Greek citizens
“Following concerted action by the government, two Greek citizens who were in Japan were repatriated today. On Friday, February 21st, the two Greeks boarded a special chartered aircraft of the Italian Government in Tokyo, along with other European citizens, and landed at the Pratica Di Mare military air base in Rome. There, they received a medical certificate from the National Public Health Organization, following the special protocol.
They landed this morning at the military airport of Eleusis, with a Greek military aircraft, which had flown to Rome for this purpose.
The two Greek citizens show no symptoms and they were screened in Japan first then Italy. They were transferred by specially trained Doctors from the National Emergency Assistance Center to the Athens General Hospital for Thoracic Diseases “Sotiria”, which specializes for such cases. They will be placed in voluntary isolation and medical supervision for 14 days before being released.
This comes after the first of two casualties in Europe on Friday, a 78-year-old man in the Padua area in the Veneto region in Italy was the first casualty of the deadly virus.
On Saturday, Italian news agency ANSA reported a second death from the Coronavirus, that of a woman, in the Lombardy region, where Codogno is located.
So far there are 132 active cases of Covid-19 in Italy under quarantine.