Residents of Katsuura, a city in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, lit up candles around the shore outside of a hotel to show support for hundreds of Japanese evacuees from Wuhan, Hubei province, China who took refuge while on a 14-day self-quarantine.
The heart-warming moment was captured on Feb. 11 when residents lit up candles and set them up in the shape of hearts. They laid out messages of hope for the returnees, South China Morning Post reported.
Around 760 Japanese nationals were reportedly evacuated from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus outbreak, and brought back to their home country on Jan. 29. A total of 197 evacuees stayed at the hotel in Chiba Prefecture and were put in quarantine.
Fortunately, the test results came back negative on Tuesday after they completed their 12 1/2-day monitoring period, according to Japan Times. The first group was able to return to their homes on Thursday.
“I appreciated the kind treatment we were shown by government officials and people at the hotel. I was able to spend my days without much stress,” one of the returnees, a man in his 30s from Mie Prefecture, said. “I want to thank the local people who have encouraged us, too.”
For those who do not have a place to stay, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government will reportedly provide 50 temporary public housing units for free.
The current number of people infected with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV, or also known as COVID-19) in Japan is now more than 200, with a majority of them confined inside a cruise ship docked off Yokohama.