NewsArizona News


Arizonans back in America due to coronavirus, being held in Texas

Posted at 6:01 PM, Feb 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 15:18:17-05

SAN ANTONIO — After nearly 20-hours of continuous travel, more than 300 Americans, and six Arizonans, are back in the United States for their second quarantine due to coronavirus.

Arizona native Bob Dixon and five of his family members were aboard the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship that was quarantined due to coronavirus in Yokohama, Japan. Among his family, Sommer Gunia, a surgeon for Comprehensive Breast Center in Scottsdale.

At 11 p.m. Saturday night in Tokyo, more than 300 Americans were evacuated from the Diamond Princess Cruise and bused to the airport for a 14 and a half hour flight to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

Dixon told ABC15, despite sitting on the buses for about four and a half hours, then the long flight to America, he's glad he's off the cruise ship.

"We were just dog tired last night trying to get in here on that airplane," said Dixon. "But I would have stood on my head to get out of there."

The United States State Department allowed 14 passengers who had previously tested positive for coronavirus on the chartered planes, however those passengers were isolated from asymptomatic passengers, and are considered to be healthy.

Those Americans were 12 days into a 14-day quarantine on the cruise ship. Dixon said even if he opted to stay on the boat to finish the quarantine, he still would have had to endure the same two-week quarantine back in America.

"It's kind of like Gilligan's Island," chuckled Dixon behind a surgical mask. "You get rescued and they deliver you to another island."

Dixon, who is from Maryvale, is familiar with Lackland Air Force Base in Texas. He took his Air Force basic training at Lackland before being deployed to Vietnam.