Coronavirus: Evacuation plane carrying Britons from quarantined cruise ship lands in UK

Kate Ng
An aircraft repatriating British people to the UK from a cruise ship hit by the coronavirus in Yokohama, Japan, arrives at RAF Boscombe Down in Wiltshire: PA

A repatriation flight carrying British and European passengers who were on board the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan has landed in the UK.

Thirty-two evacuees have touched down at Boscombe Down Ministry of Defence base in Wiltshire, and will be taken to Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral to be quarantined for 14 days.

Their return to the UK comes after spending over two weeks stuck in quarantine on the ship off the port of Yokohama.

Around the world, more cases and deaths have been reported, including the second coronavirus patient to die in Italy after a patient succumbed to the virus on Friday night.

Italy’s Ansa news agency cited healthcare sources in confirming the second death on Saturday.

South Korea’s Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than double the number of cases in the country since Friday to 433.

The surge in cases, which has made it the largest cluster outside mainland China, was believed to originate from a 61-year-old woman who attended four services in a religious sect before testing positive for the virus.

In Iran, health authorities confirmed on Saturday a fifth death from the virus and said the fataility was from ten newly confirmed cases.

Health ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour, who made the announcement on state TV, said two of the newly detected cases were found in the capital of Tehran and the other eight were in the city of Qom.

The World Health Organisation’s director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Saturday it was concerned about the number of coronavirus cases with no clear epidemiological link.

Cases without clear links include those with no travel history to China or contact with a confirmed case, he told a briefing.

He also called the reported decline in new cases in China welcome news but urged caution, adding: “It is far too early to make predictions about this outbreak.

“Our biggest concern continues to be the potential for COVID-19 to spread in countries with weaker health systems.”

Additional reporting by agencies

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