Canadian officials helping in Japan after 12 Canadians contract virus on ship

MUNICH — Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canadian health workers are assisting in Japan after 12 Canadians contracted the novel coronavirus while on a cruise ship.

Champagne says three members of the Public Health Agency of Canada and two medical personnel from the Canadian Armed Forces have been sent to Yokohama, the Japanese port city where the Diamond Princess has been docked since last week.

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Some 3,500 passengers on the ship are under quarantine and 218 people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Champagne says the Japanese government will allow some elderly people to complete the rest of their quarantine period at another facility off the ship.

Meanwhile, Champagne says consular officials are assisting in Cambodia where another ship with 279 Canadians on-board was recently allowed to dock after being rejected from multiple other countries over fears of the new coronavirus.

There have been no reported case of the virus, dubbed COVID-19, on-board the Westerdam, and Champagne says officials will help Canadians with the process of returning home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 14, 2020.

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