Brits onboard a cruise ship where dozens have become infected with the coronavirus are set to be evacuated after the UK Government announced it was "working to organise" a flight home.
A statement from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office: "Given the conditions on board, we are working to organise a flight back to the UK for British nationals on the Diamond Princess as soon as possible."
it continued: "Our staff are contacting British nationals on board to make the necessary arrangements. We urge all those who have not yet responded to get in touch immediately."
The Government had faced enormous pressure to fly home the 74 Brits on the Diamond Princess after the US chartered two planes and brought home 340 of its citizens.
First coronavirus death in Europe confirmed after warning bug could kill 400,000 Brits
Up to 40 million Brits could get coronavirus as disease 'becoming global pandemic'
On Monday, the Japanese Health Ministry confirmed 99 more people on board have been diagnosed with the illness, bringing the total to 454.
Four Britons with confirmed coronavirus are currently in hospital in Japan, according to the latest official figures.
The data comes after Sir Richard Branson said Virgin Atlantic was "in discussions" with the Government over whether he could help those stranded.
He responded via Twitter to an appeal from David and Sally Abel, who are among those who have been trapped in their cabins for days, who asked the British businessman and philanthropist to charter a special plane.
The couple's son Steve Abel renewed appeals for the Government to help his parents, who he fears may become separated in Japan.
Both are still awaiting the results of their own tests for Covid-19.
Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz said the firm has worked with authorities to send more doctors and nurses on board the ship and has helped fulfil 2,000 prescription requests.
However, there is still uncertainty over whether passengers will be able to leave the ship at the end of the 14-day quarantine period on Wednesday.
Fresh coronavirus horror as now knife-wielding raiders steal bog roll
As of Monday afternoon, 4,501 people in total have now been tested for Covid-19 in the UK, of which nine have come back positive.
Public Health England has published guidance saying that no restrictions or special control measures are needed while tests for Covid-19 are carried out on a suspected case.
Nine people in the UK have tested positive for Covid-19, with eight of those patients now discharged from hospital.
Source: Read Full Article