Second HK evacuation flight ready to leave Japan
Friday, February 21, 2020
The second chartered flight bringing home more than 100 Hong Kong residents who have been in the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess is all set to leave Yokohama, Japan, RTHK reports.
They were scheduled to return Thursday, but were delayed due to another evacuation operation by Canada.
The Hong Kong residents started disembarking the Diamond Princess in the morning today and boarded coaches arranged by the government to take them to Haneda airport, including a man who was celebrating his birthday.
"It's an unforgettable birthday," said the man, surnamed Wong, told reporters at the airport. "All I want is to go home."
He said he is disappointed that he couldn't catch the first flight and felt that fate was not in favor in the past two weeks.
Another woman said Hongkongers were unfairly treated by the Japanese government, saying she might not come again.
"The Americans could leave so much earlier … without even undergoing tests!" she complained. "And [Thursday's] charter flight [slot] was supposed to belong to us, but it was given to the Canadians."
"Wasn’t it unfair to Hongkongers? They can’t do this to Hongkongers and Chinese," she said.
Around 120 people have signed up to take the second charter flight, a day after the government brought back 106 people. They will also be quarantined in a public housing estate in Fo Tan once they arrived Hong Kong.
That will leave 41 Hong Kong people, who have been in close contact with those already tested positive for the coronavirus on the vessel, in Japan.
Health Secretary Sophia Chan Siu-chee had said earlier that Japan has agreed they can be flown back to Hong Kong and officials here are working on arrangements to bring them also back.-Photos: RTHK