Officials in protective clothing are seen after passengers boarded a charter flight bound for CFB Trenton after arriving on a plane chartered by the United States government carrying U.S. and Canadian citizens home from Wuhan, China, at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., on Friday February 7, 2020. Canadians deplaned from the U.S. charter and the aircraft refuelled before continuing on to a U.S. Air Force Base. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VIDEO: Canadians arrive home after evacuation from Wuhan amid novel coronavirus

Group will undergo two weeks of quarantine

Family members looked forward to reuniting with loved ones after two groups of weary Canadian citizens finally returned home Friday from the centre of a novel coronavirus outbreak in China.

One Canadian government flight carrying 176 people touched down just after dawn at Canadian Forces Base Trenton, Ont., where they were to undergo two weeks of quarantine and monitoring to check whether they’ve contracted the virus.

Media were kept well away as the passengers deplaned and stepped onto waiting buses in frigid weather.

Richard Fabic, the father of 15-month-old Chloe, hoped to be joining his daughter in quarantine later Friday.

Fabic, of Mississauga, Ont., said Ottawa had reached out to ask him if he wanted to join his daughter.

“I said yes before they even finished the sentence,” Fabic said. “It’s very considerate, very thoughtful, I was really blown away from being given that option.”

The 14 days in quarantine will be “bonding time” with his daughter, Fabic said.

READ MORE: Two B.C. visitors test positive for Wuhan coronavirus, bring cases to four

About 50 other Canadians arrived in Vancouver early Friday morning after they were able to board a flight chartered by the American government. The federal government planned to fly them to CFB Trenton also to be quarantined.

Fabic said his wife had mixed feelings about him being in isolation with Chloe, because she wanted to be the one in there.

“I just want to spend time with my daughter and also help with taking care of her,” Fabic said.

The past few weeks have been stressful, he said, adding he was excited at the prospect of the reunion.

His daughter has all the entertainment she needs in quarantine, Fabic said, but just in case he planned to load up his tablet with movies and shows.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne said Thursday that two-thirds of Canadians seeking to leave the locked-down city of Wuhan have now been evacuated.

Champagne said the government has chartered another flight from Wuhan for remaining Canadians, which is scheduled to depart on Feb. 10.

About 11 million people are currently under quarantine in the central Chinese city, where the coronavirus is believed to have originated.

Myriam Larouche, a Canadian student who was studying in Wuhan, said she was relieved to be back home after a long process that felt longer in a different country.

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

Health authorities have documented five confirmed cases of the new coronavirus in Canada so far, and say the quarantine is necessary to ensure the virus doesn’t spread further.

On Thursday, two more presumptive cases of the novel coronavirus were diagnosed in British Columbia, where a total of four people have now been sickened with the illness.

Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Nation reminds ‘select few’ fishing lodges that Haida Gwaii is closed to non-essential travel

‘Upholding Haida law amid COVID-19’ release comes one day before Queen Charlotte Lodge plans to reopen

PHOTOS: ‘Phengnominal’ gnome house constructed in Port Clements

‘Ms. Gnomer’s Home 4 Wayward Folk,’ created by Kelly Whitney-Gould, a hit for kids and loggers alike

Councillor resigns mid-term in Queen Charlotte

Richard Decembrini’s resignation announced at regular meeting on July 6

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Three projects on the North Coast awarded funding

Skidegate band members donate 400 pounds of salmonberries

More than 45 band members participated in first-ever Salmonberry Picking Contest on June 28

B.C. identifies 20 new COVID-19 cases, travellers specified in count

Pandemic total 3,028 cases, 51 people from outside Canada

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

B.C. appeals judge’s decision to leave three clubhouses in Hells Angels hands

The province has filed two notices of appeal related to the B.C. Supreme Court decision

Conservation officers relocate Spirit bear known to roam northwestern B.C.

Bear roamed valley north of Terrace for many years

Most Read