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

Just Posted

Couple home safe after COVID-19 lockdown in Peru

Cortney Pitts and Maxime Patenaude “won the lottery” to get to come home from Peru.

Foodbanking in the time of COVID-19

Local food bank needs are high, but Lawrie Mack said: “there is hope to counter the gloom.”

Rievaj family: alone together during COVID-19

Alone together is a Pioneer series about how local families are coping with COVID-19

Construction continues at Radium Hot Springs pools

Demolition done, slab for subfloor poured

VIDEO: ‘Used gloves and masks go in the garbage,’ says irked B.C. mayor

Health officials have said single-use gloves won’t do much to curb the spread of COVID-19

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Dogs are property, not kids, B.C. judge tells former couple

Court decision made on competing lawsuits over Zeus and Aurora — a pit bull and pit bull cross

Most Read