A bus carrying the passengers from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship leaves a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo. Image Credit: AP

New Delhi: Indian crew members and passengers, who were on board the coronavirus-hit quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess, have boarded a special Air India flight for the homeland, Narendra Sawaikar, Commissioner for NRI Affairs in Goa, said on Wednesday.

As many as 138 Indians including 132 crew and six passengers were among the 3,711 people on board the luxury cruise ship, which was quarantined off Japan on February 5 after it emerged that a former passenger had tested positive for the virus.

Of these, 16 were tested positive for coronavirus and will stay in Japan for treatment, while the remaining will be repatriated to India.

The repatriation is being facilitated by the Indian government.

Earlier, the Indian government had evacuated as many as 640 Indians from Wuhan -- the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei which has been the epicentre of the novel coronavirus.