Evacuated Diamond Princess passengers eager to get home to Granite Bay

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(KTXL) -- It has been around five weeks since a Granite Bay couple first left California for their vacation cruise overseas. But after two separate quarantines in Japan and the U.S., they’re now ready to come home.

Otis Menasco and his wife had to endure close to two weeks of quarantine on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan. By Thursday, they were spending their fourth day out of an additional 14-day quarantine inside a room at the San Antonio-Lackland Air Force Base in Texas.

“We’ve understood that since that time, there has been a total of six people taken from our complex that have symptoms or have been confirmed virus victims,” Menasco told FOX40.

Menasco thought he and his wife would be heading to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, which is closer to home. They were shocked to learn several passengers on their plane tested positive for the coronavirus.

“The amount of time we spent on the bus getting to the plane then all the time on the plane. And then to get here and realize some of these people were coming down with the virus,” said Menasco.

Japan’s Health Ministry confirmed two passengers on the Diamond Princess have since died from the virus. They say both passengers were in their 80s but their identity and gender have not yet been released.

“It puts a lot more fear into us,” said Menasco.

Overall, more than 2,000 people have died from the COVID-19 virus, while over 76,000 people were infected worldwide.

“We wear our mask about probably a fourth of the time we are in the room. We do have a small little balcony outside of our door,” said Menasco.

Meanwhile, he said he and his wife are trying to make the best of an otherwise unfortunate situation.

“And we did get six bottles of wine today. Amazing,” said Menasco.

Menasco also said the Diamond Princess has offered to cover the couple’s transportation back to California once the quarantine ends.

As soon as they’re released, Menasco told FOX40 he and his wife are picking up their two cats from animal boarding and heading home.


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