All US passengers off virus-struck cruise ship

Passengers complained of cramped conditions during bus and plane transportation to the military bases (AFP Photo/Handout)

Los Angeles (AFP) - The operation to evacuate a coronavirus-struck cruise ship was all-but complete Friday, with only a handful of foreign passengers remaining on board the Grand Princess.

The ship carrying around 2,400 passengers was brought into California's Oakland on Monday after an outbreak on board saw 21 people test positive.

"All American passengers have now disembarked from the Grand Princess," the California governor's office said Friday.

A total of 2,446 individuals have been brought ashore, including a small number of crew members from Canada and Britain.

Governor Gavin Newsom said the ship would remain in Oakland at least until Sunday as repatriation arrangements were made with the countries of the remaining passengers.

An unknown number of additional passengers have tested positive for the novel coronavirus since disembarking, he added.

US residents not requiring hospitalization have been transferred to four military bases across California, Texas and Georgia for 14-day quarantine.

US states including Nevada and New Mexico have called for their citizens to be allowed to undergo quarantine at home if they test negative.

Passengers complained of cramped conditions during bus and plane transportation to the military bases, which they said had undermined the strict isolation measures earlier enforced on board the ship.

"It is truly unbelievable how poorly this process was organized," said Carolyn Wright, a 63-year-old from New Mexico.

Once the remaining passengers have left the ship, the Grand Princess will leave Oakland and anchor in San Francisco Bay while additional crew disembark for chartered flights.