Coronavirus patient from Diamond Princess cruise ship treated at Napa hospital

NAPA — Two passengers from the ill-fated Diamond Princess cruise ship are in isolation at a Napa hospital, including one who tested positive for coronavirus and the other who has exhibited symptoms of the disease.

The patients at Queen of the Valley Medical Center are two of a group of 300 Americans who had been quarantined on the ship off the coast of Japan since Feb. 5. The passengers were flown Sunday and Monday on chartered planes to either Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield or a Texas military base.

Five of those who tested positive in Japan, but showed no symptoms, are being treated in Solano County hospitals, which reached their capacity for quarantined patients. The confirmed case sent to Napa hasn’t shown symptoms, either. But the second patient sent to Napa, who tested negative in Japan, has symptoms of coronavirus, according to a statement from Napa County’s Public Health division.

“There is minimal risk for Napa County residents from the arrival of these two patients,” said Napa County Public Health officer Karen Relucio. “They are in isolation and are receiving medical care and undergoing testing.”

Neither of the patients in Napa are from the area, but officials would not release any details about them.

Meanwhile, other Americans who had fled the coronavirus zone in China two weeks ago were cleared Tuesday to go home. A group of 180 people at Travis and 166 others at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego completed their 14-day quarantine and were medically released, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

“These people being released from quarantine pose no health risk to the surrounding community, or to the communities they will be returning to,” the agency said.

Two other groups that arrived in government-chartered flights from virus-stricken areas of China are expected to be released from the military bases in California later this week.

At Travis, the cruise ship evacuees from Japan are being housed away from those who arrived from China, officials said.

On Tuesday, shuttles were ferrying the evacuees from a hotel at Travis to the base’s visitors center, where anxious relatives waited to take them home.

“I have no words to describe it. It was a really hard time,” Abdullah Alamoudi said of waiting to reunite with his wife and two young daughters.

Alamoudi told KTVU-TV he was separated from his family in China after he went to Shanghai on a business trip and his wife and children went to visit family in Wuhan, the city in China that is the epicenter of the outbreak.

“We just contacted the (U.S.) embassy and thank God, they picked them up,” Alamoudi said.

One person who arrived with the group at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar tested positive for the virus and is doing well at a hospital, the CDC said.

“Today marks an end to a long, stressful journey for these 166 passengers,” said Dr. Erin Staples, who was leading efforts for the CDC at Miramar.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

About the author

Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup

Mariella Frostrup has worked as a journalist for nearly a decade and has contributed to several large publications including the Yahoo News and the Oakland Tribune. As a founder and journalist, Mariella covers national and international developments.
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