Plane carrying Canadians who left China amid coronavirus outbreak lands at CFB Trenton

A plane chartered by the Canadian government carrying people who wanted out of Wuhan, China, amid a coronavirus outbreak has landed at CFB Trenton in Ontario.

The plane, which had 176 passengers on board, left Wuhan on Thursday. It arrived in Vancouver around 9 p.m. PT for a refuelling stop before carrying on to the Ontario military base.

Passengers who returned on the flight out of Wuhan will spend 14 days under quarantine at the military base to see if they develop symptoms of the novel coronavirus.

CBC’s Meagan Fitzpatrick, who is in Trenton, Ont., said it may be some time before passengers are actually allowed off the plane as officials board to debrief them first.

Once they disembark, passengers will move to a hangar where they will be processed by Canada Border Service Agency staff and health officials. From there, they will be taken to a lodge where they will be housed for the duration of the quarantine period.

Myriam Larouche, a 25-year-old from L’Ascension, Que., told The Canadian Press that the stretch from Wuhan to Vancouver had been “pretty long” but that most everyone on the plane slept through much of the flight.

“I think I’m going to sleep for 20 hours straight,” Larouche said, noting that the last few days have been stressful.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said there was a “small number of no-shows” at the airport in China as some people had changed their minds about leaving.

A group of about 50 Canadian passengers who wanted to leave Wuhan were allowed on a U.S. government flight. Those passengers arrived in Vancouver early Friday, according to CBC’s Gian-Paolo Mendoza.

Public health officials say the overall risk to people in Canada from the novel coronavirus is low.


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