FOREIGN Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, Health Minister Patty Hajdu and National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan on Friday announced that the plane chartered by the Canadian government to repatriate Canadians who were on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship has arrived in Canada from Tokyo, Japan.
At 2:01 a.m. (EST), 129 Canadians and accompanying family members travelling on the chartered plane arrived at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton. None of the passengers exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) upon arrival.
Upon landing, the returning passengers were screened at CFB Trenton by quarantine officers and then met by officers from the Canada Border Services Agency. They were then transported to the NAV Centre in Cornwall, Ontario, where they will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period. They will undergo the same medical assessment and observation as those who were repatriated earlier this month from Wuhan, China,
The federal government said it continues to work with provincial, territorial and local health authorities to ensure that the returning Canadians and their family members receive all the medical and ongoing support necessary to protect their health and the health and safety of all Canadians.
It said it encourages Canadians in Japan to consult the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories and Travel Health Notices, and register with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service.
Canadians in Japan in need of emergency consular assistance can contact the Embassy of Canada to Japan in Tokyo at +81 (0) 3-5412-6200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at +1 613 996 8885 or email email@example.com.
Champagne said: “Ensuring the health and safety of Canadians remains our absolute priority. The Government is pleased to have repatriated more than 500 Canadians and their family members from areas affected by the novel coronavirus abroad, including those who have been quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan. We will continue to provide full support to those Canadians who remain in Japan. We would like to express our deep gratitude to the Japanese authorities for their cooperation in this process which was undertaken out of an abundance of caution and to reduce the burden on the Japanese medical system.”
Hajdu noted: “The returning Canadians have been through a stressful experience over the past couple of weeks. During their quarantine in Canada, we will offer support for both their mental and physical well-being. We will also continue with measures to protect the general population from exposure to the virus. The risk to Canadians, including those living or working in the communities in and around Cornwall, remains low. To date, we have been able to detect cases within Canada, treat them appropriately and limit the spread of the virus. Our health system is working exactly as it should.”
Sajjan added: “No matter the challenge, the members of the Canadian Armed Forces will always be there for Canadians. From our medical personnel supporting Canadians in Japan to our members helping when they arrive home, we are there for our federal and provincial partners. Thank you to all who are working tirelessly to help our friends and neighbours get home.