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

Second plane for Canadians in Wuhan on its way to Asia: foreign minister

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia — Canada’s foreign minister says a second plane has left for Asia to bring a second load of Canadians out of the Chinese city locked down over a viral outbreak.

Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne made the announcement Sunday in Ethiopia, where he’s travelling with Justin Trudeau on the prime minister’s Africa tour.

He said the passenger list is still being compiled but he expects the charter flight to be just about full when it leaves Wuhan.

“The plane would be leaving on the 10th of February, bringing back the last group of Canadians who want to be repatriated on the 11th,” Champagne said.

A first planeload of Canadians arrived at an Ontario military base last Friday, carrying 176 people from a city that has been under quarantine for weeks as Chinese authorities try to contain the spread of a new coronavirus. A second group brought to Canada on an American flight brought the total to 215.

Those evacuees are being kept at CFB Trenton for 14 days to make sure they don’t get sick and start spreading the germs across the country.

Seven cases of novel coronavirus have been confirmed in Canada. An update from the Public Health Agency of Canada says four cases are in British Columbia and three are in Ontario.

Most cases of the new coronavirus are mild but it’s a respiratory illness that can be deadly in some people. More than 37,000 have been sickened worldwide and more than 800 have died.

The government is also monitoring the well-being of 285 Canadians quarantined on two cruise ships off the coast of Japan and Hong Kong.

There are seven Canadians with confirmed cases of the coronavirus they contracted aboard one of the ships, which is docked in the port city of Yokohama, just outside Tokyo. Those patients have been taken to Japanese hospitals for treatment and monitoring.

Champagne said he’d spoken to the head of the cruise line earlier in the day.

“I wanted to make sure that we’re all linked up,” he said. “I wanted to make sure we’re all there for the families, for the people who are there.”

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