COVID-19 positive Americans from cruise must meet these 3 criteria to return home

    TOKYO, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 17: American citizens board a Kalitta Air aircraft, chartered by the U.S. government, at Haneda airport on February 17, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. The United States has become the first country to offer to repatriate citizens on the Diamond Princess cruise ship while it remains quarantined in Yokohama Port as at least 355 passengers and crew onboard have tested positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19). Including cases onboard the ship, 408 people in Japan have now been diagnosed with COVID-19 making it the worst affected country outside of China. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)

    US citizens who were on board the Diamond Princess cruise and tested positive for the novel coronavirus must be cleared per US guidelines before returning home, according to letters sent by the US embassy in Tokyo to these passengers. 

    These guidelines were sent to at least one American passenger who is still in Japan. The US began evacuating some passengers earlier this week.

    In order to be eligible to board a US-bound flight, three key criteria must be met:

    1. Any fever must have resolved in the absence of medication.
    2. There must also be an improvement in any signs and symptoms of illness.
    3. Patients must test negative on two sets of nasal and throat swabs 24 hours apart.

    This is in line with existing guidance from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on when to release patients from isolation in hospitals.

    “You will not be cleared to travel simply by waiting 14 days,” the embassy specified. Fourteen days is the upper estimate of the virus’ incubation period.

    These criteria are set by the CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Carnival Corporation, which owns and operates the Diamond Princess cruise ship, has agreed to cover testing costs for these passengers if the Japanese government doesn’t, according to the letters.

    After submitting test results to the CDC, passengers must wait to receive notification by a US embassy representative notifying them they are cleared to fly to the US. 

    For the rest of those aboard, CDC said on Tuesday that “all passengers and crew of the ship have been placed under travel restrictions, preventing them from returning to the United States for at least 14 days after they had left the Diamond Princess.”

    Source: CNN News


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