Canadian evacuees land at CFB Trenton

The first plane from Wuhan, China, carrying 176 Canadians, landed at CFB Trenton on Feb. 7 after stopping to refuel at Vancouver International Airport overnight.

Justin Tang/Canadian Press Photo
Flight HFM322, an Airbus A330-343 operated by HiFly Malta and chartered by the Canadian government, landed in Trenton at around 6:30 a.m. EST from Wuhan. Justin Tang/Canadian Press Photo
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Flight HFM322, an Airbus A330-343 operated by HiFly Malta and chartered by the Canadian government, landed in Trenton at around 6:30 a.m. EST from Wuhan — the known origin of the deadly Coronavirus.

More than 300 Canadians have asked for assistance out of China from the Canadian government, and though there was space for 211 passengers on the first flight out of the country to Trenton, Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne told reporters that only 176 people boarded the plane.

“As expected, we had a small number of no-shows at the airport, mostly related to individuals who changed their minds at the last minute,” said Champagne. He also stressed that anyone who decided to stay behind will still be receiving consular assistance from Canada.

While at CFB Trenton, the evacuees will be put under a two-week quarantine as government and health officials monitor them. They will be housed at the Yukon Lodge, a 290-room on-base motel usually reserved for military personnel and their families and will be provided with clothes, diapers, baby formula, games and other essentials. Most of the evacuees will be separated, though families will be kept together.

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Another plane from Wuhan chartered by the United States government, holding roughly 50 Canadians, departed shortly after Canada’s initial flight and will be stopping in Vancouver where the Canadian evacuees will transfer to another flight bound for CFB Trenton.

Furthermore, the Canadian federal government has chartered a second flight for evacuees out of Wuhan, set to depart the locked-down Chinese city on Feb. 10.

To date, the World Health Organization has reported over 28,000 confirmed cases of a Coronavirus infection, which has killed over 560 people in China alone. In Canada, health officials have documented seven cases of the virus so far.

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