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

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Okanagan company backs Orange Shirt Day contest

Vernon-based Tolko Industries sponsors art contest open to kids from kindergarten to Grade 12

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read