Former Winnipegger still in quarantine at U.S. Air Force Base due to COVID-19 sanctions

A former Winnipegger has been transported to the United States after her vacation was unexpectedly extended due to coronavirus fears.

Debra Chan — who lives in San Francisco now but says she still spends a few months a year in Winnipeg — was stranded on the Diamond Princess with her husband John for over a week at a port just outside of Tokyo.

The couple have now been at Travis Air Force Base in California for two days, awaiting further medical clearance. Chan told 680 CJOB they’re expecting to be there for two more weeks before they can return home.

“We were extricated two days ago and it took 10 hours for them to get everybody off the cruise ship. We did a lot of sitting on buses,” she said.

The long transition from the ship to the bus was due to more test results coming in, Chan added.

“We finally figured out — because they’d just gotten some more test results — the people who were sitting on the buses with us, there were a few cases that were actually positive for the coronavirus.

“While we were sitting on the buses, they actually pulled them off first to go on to the planes. That was quite shocking for us to find out when the flight was finished.”

The people who tested positive for COVID-19 were seated in a cordoned-off area, behind a plastic barrier, on the flight, Chan said.

While the Chans were able to leave Japan, there are still people quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise liner.

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