Part of Chinese residents on the Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess prepares to board a plane to go back to Hong Kong in Haneda Airport in Tokyo, Feb 20, 2020. [Photo/Xinhua]
A chartered flight carrying 106 Hong Kong residents, who had been quarantined on the Japanese cruise ship Diamond Princess, landed at Hong Kong International Airport at around 8:30 am on Thursday. They all tested negative for the COVID-19 upon arrival.
This is the first batch of Chinese nationals on the cruise ship returning home. More than 20 others have not yet decided, if they will take the charted flight home, Li Jiachao, Hong Kong's Security Bureau Director said.
A second chartered flight from Hong Kong is scheduled to leave at 11:00 pm local time today.
Li said the government aims to bring all Hong Kong residents on the cruise ship home by Thursday, and a third plane will be arranged if necessary.
There are 364 Hong Kong residents on the ship, among whom 55 have been diagnosed with virus infection, and another 33 are under observation because of close contacts, so they have to stay in Japan.