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Diamond Princess cruise passengers with virus back in US



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Fourteen evacuees from the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan were allowed to fly back to the United States Sunday despite testing positive for coronavirus, the U.S. State Department and Health and Human Services said in a joint statement. The evacuees were not symptomatic. 

“These individuals were moved in the most expeditious and safe manner to a specialized containment area on the evacuation aircraft to isolate them in accordance with standard protocols,” the statement, published Sunday, read

The State Department was unaware the individuals had coronavirus when they were being removed from the ship; they had tested negative just a few days before, Robert Kadlec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and response at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, said on a phone call with reporters.

“If those results had come back four hours earlier before we’d started to disembark the ship and before these people were evacuees within an evacuation system, then it would’ve been a different discussion.” Dr. William Walters, director of operational medicine at the U.S. Department of State, said on the call.



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