COVID-19: Canadians on board Diamond Princess cruise ship to fly back Feb. 21

Hundreds of passengers began leaving the Diamond Princess cruise ship Wednesday after the end of a much-criticized, two-week quarantine that failed to stop the spread of a new virus among passengers and crew.

Officials still were continuing tests for the coronavirus that has sickened tens of thousands of people in China and more than 540 on the ship.

Some passengers said on Twitter they received health check forms asking if they had any symptoms such as headache, fever, cough. Passengers who tested negative and had no symptoms still had to get their body temperature checked before leaving.

A Japanese passenger said he was still waiting for his virus results and was getting worried.

Japanese officials will spend several days staging the high-stakes evacuation of about 2,500 people who’ve been kept aboard the ship at the Yokohama port near Tokyo after one passenger who departed the ship earlier in Hong Kong was found to have the virus.

Not among the hundreds being evacuated were dozens of Canadians also quarantined on the ship, who are now scheduled to be evacuated Friday morning.

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