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.
According to a statement issued by the Greek Health Ministry, the two Greeks do not have any symptoms of the coronavirus, as confirmed by medical teams in Japan and Italy that had screened them ‘negative’. However, they will need to remain in preventive quarantine and under medical supervision for 14 days, the ministry said in a statement.
Οι δύο Έλληνες πολίτες δεν εμφανίζουν καμία συμπτωματολογία και έχουν έως τώρα αρνητικό έλεγχο από ιατρικά κλιμάκια στην Ιαπωνία και στην Ιταλία.
Μεταφέρθηκαν από ειδικά εκπαιδευμένο προσωπικό του ΕΚΑΒ στο Γ.Ν. «Η Σωτηρία». https://t.co/sD5nAOV0hK
— ΥΠΟΥΡΓΕΙΟ ΥΓΕΙΑΣ (@YpYgGR) February 22, 2020
The two have been taken to “Sotiria” hospital, one of the 13 coronavirus reference hospitals across the country equipped to deal with cases of the COVID-19.
Together with other European citizens, among them 35 Italians, the two Greeks were evacuated from “Diamond Princess” and reached Europe with a flight charted by the Italian government and organized by the European Civil protection Mechanism.
They arrived at Patrica Di Mare military air base in Rome, where they received a medical certificate from the National Public Health Organization, following the special protocol for coronavirus.
They were flown to Athens with a C25 aircraft of the Greek Air Force. With an ambulance, they were transferred from the air base of Elefsina to the hospital.
The two Greek nationals, who have been trapped in the quarry of the Diamond Princess cruise ship since early February, returned to the country by war plane via Rome. There, 35 Italian citizens, as well as other European cruise liners, landed there.
Also on Saturday morning, the two Greeks repatriated from the city of Wuhan, China, on February 9, were released from the quarantine and discharged. “Sotiria” hospital confirmed that they are healthy and so they could return to their families.
The virus is believed to have an incubation time of 14 days. However, the death of a 77-year-old pensioner in Italy on Saturday, raises fears that incubation period may be up 28 days.