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

Flags lowered in honour of the late Bill McRae

Community leader, businessman passed away July 9

LETTER: Terrace mayor cites Bill McRae’s accomplishments

“Hard work and incredible character became a gift to the City of Terrace.”

Royal LePage Aspire Realty buys office in Terrace

Owner Rod Mcleod said the move will increase connectivity in northern B.C.

Ferry Island Campground in Terrace now open to out of province visitors

Decision based on recommendations from the provincial government

Infinite Ice’s holistic hockey program returning to Terrace in August

COVID-19 precautions in place for on-ice training, meditation, yoga and nutrition classes

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

B.C. man who went by ‘Doctor Ray Gaglardi’ charged with sex assault of teenage boys

The man, 75, is accused of assaulting teenage boys he met through Coquitlam-area churches

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Most Read