Briton on board quarantine cruise ship diagnosed with coronavirus ‘while on honeymoon’

A Brit quarantined on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan has tested positive for coronavirus as the infection toll on the locked down vessel rises. 

The boat’s operator Princess Cruises said that 41 more people on board the vessel , which has been under a two week quarantine after a man who disembarked in Hong Kong was diagnosed with the virus, had tested positive for the virus. 

Those infected included the one Briton and passengers from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Japan and the US.

According to fellow passenger David Abel, the diagnosed British man was a friend of his who was on the ship during a honeymoon trip. 

He said it would be “really tough” for the man to be split up from his new wife – who Mr Abel said had not been diagnosed. 

A man named Alan Steele, from Wolverhampton, posted on Facebook to state he was the patient diagnosed with the virus. 

“Just to let you all know I have been diagnosed as having the virus and am being shipped to hospital,” he posted to friends. 

Asked about whether his wife will remain on the ship, he said: “Will be left onboard. Not happy about it.”

Diamond Princess roughly 3,700 people on board and the latest diagnoses bring the number on the ship struck down with the virus to 61. 

In a statement, Princess Cruises said the latest tests, conducted on 273 passengers, would be the “last batch”, with the lock down due to end in under two weeks. 

A group wearing protective gear seen near the cruise ship Diamond Princess (REUTERS)

It said: “The Japanese Ministry of Health has confirmed this is the last batch to be tested and the quarantine end date will be February 19, unless there are any other unforeseen developments. The Japanese government is also providing our ship and team members additional manpower support.

“During the remainder of the time onboard, guests will continue to be provided complimentary internet and telephone service to stay in contact with their family and loved ones.

“In addition, we have added additional live TV channels and a large selection of in-room movies available in multiple languages. The cruise activities staff is packaging games, puzzles and trivia and delivering them to guest staterooms.”

It comes as the death toll from the virus rose to 636 in mainland China. The number of confirmed cases has surpassed 28,000. 

There have been three positive test results for the virus in the UK. 

It is understood that the third patient to be diagnosed is a man who caught the infection in Singapore and is a British national. They were tested positive in Brighton then moved to an infectious diseases unit in London. 


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