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01:33

Hong Kong: Officials unable to contact 10 Hongkongers aboard Diamond Princess - Lam

Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong
February 18, 2020 at 12:29 GMT +00:00 · Published

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Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam spoke of uncertainties surrounding the repatriation of some of the 351 Hongkongers aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in the Japanese port of Yokohama. The comments were made during a press conference given in the city-state on Tuesday.

"The immigration department has deployed staff to try to reach every one of the 351 Hong Kong residents on board the Diamond Princess cruise. Up until now, my latest information is that there are ten outstanding residents. We will continue to reach out to them as long as they have a contact, but as I understand maybe one or two don't even have a contact," said Lam.

"We have asked the cruise company to help us to reach out to them, we are sending them letters, I'm going to send each of them a letter today to tell them exactly the arrangements that we have put in place."

Lam also warned Hong Kong passengers who might choose not to take the planned charter flight.

"One issue is that they may have difficulty in getting a commercial flight ticket because if people know that they come from this cruise then there may be some worries. Secondly is even if they manage to take the commercial flight back, upon their arrival at the Hong Kong International Airport, they will be stopped by the Immigration Department because they will be put on a watchlist," she explained.

"Our port health officials will then approach them and will likewise serve a quarantine order. So they would end up in the same situation but with travelling arrangements being done all by themselves."

The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship was quarantined when it arrived in Yokohama early last week after it emerged that some passengers who disembarked in Hong Kong last month tested positive for the flu-like respiratory illness. So far, 355 people from the ship have tested positive for the new virus that began in China, including 70 new cases found on Sunday.

According to reports, the novel coronavirus death toll tops 1,800, with more than 73,000 are infected worldwide.

01:33
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:

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam spoke of uncertainties surrounding the repatriation of some of the 351 Hongkongers aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in the Japanese port of Yokohama. The comments were made during a press conference given in the city-state on Tuesday.

"The immigration department has deployed staff to try to reach every one of the 351 Hong Kong residents on board the Diamond Princess cruise. Up until now, my latest information is that there are ten outstanding residents. We will continue to reach out to them as long as they have a contact, but as I understand maybe one or two don't even have a contact," said Lam.

"We have asked the cruise company to help us to reach out to them, we are sending them letters, I'm going to send each of them a letter today to tell them exactly the arrangements that we have put in place."

Lam also warned Hong Kong passengers who might choose not to take the planned charter flight.

"One issue is that they may have difficulty in getting a commercial flight ticket because if people know that they come from this cruise then there may be some worries. Secondly is even if they manage to take the commercial flight back, upon their arrival at the Hong Kong International Airport, they will be stopped by the Immigration Department because they will be put on a watchlist," she explained.

"Our port health officials will then approach them and will likewise serve a quarantine order. So they would end up in the same situation but with travelling arrangements being done all by themselves."

The Diamond Princess Cruise Ship was quarantined when it arrived in Yokohama early last week after it emerged that some passengers who disembarked in Hong Kong last month tested positive for the flu-like respiratory illness. So far, 355 people from the ship have tested positive for the new virus that began in China, including 70 new cases found on Sunday.

According to reports, the novel coronavirus death toll tops 1,800, with more than 73,000 are infected worldwide.

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