Coronavirus: British couple evacuated from cruise ship are 'in a really bad way'

Coronavirus: British couple evacuated from cruise ship are 'in a really bad way'

A British couple quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan because of the coronavirus outbreak are in “a really bad way”, according to their family.

David and Sally Abel, who were among the 3,000 passengers being held on the Diamond Princess near Yokohama, were diagnosed with the coronavirus after 16 days onboard.

David Abel has been diagnosed with pneumonia. (PA)

Their family say the couple, from Northamptonshire, who were were on the cruise for their 50th wedding anniversary, have now been moved to a “prison”-like hospital in Japan.

Mr Abel has been diagnosed with acute pneumonia while Mrs Abel has a mild case.

Their son Stephen told The Times: “They are in a really bad way. Dad is very weak.”

David Abel with his wife Sally speaking during their quarantine on the Diamond Princess. (PA)

“They are really distressed. His exact words to me were, ‘This has to stop now, we can’t take any more of this. It’s like a prison.’”

It comes as as dozens of evacuees from a coronavirus-hit cruise ship begin their two-week quarantine in the UK and more than 100 others rescued from China are due to be released from isolation.

Thirty-two people who spent more than two weeks trapped on the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan are settling in at an accommodation block at Arrowe Park hospital on the Wirral – their home for the next 14 days.

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The group, reportedly made up of 30 Britons and two Irish nationals, will undergo regular health checks while in quarantine.

Some made gestures from their coaches as they arrived at the Merseyside facility on Saturday evening – one forming a heart symbol with her hands and another an OK signal.

Arrowe Park was previously used to host 83 British nationals for a 14-day quarantine period earlier in February and a health official said they now have a “blueprint” for how to handle the new arrivals.

Wirral Teaching Hospital NHS Trust chief executive Janelle Holmes said the group will be “safe, well-managed and comfortable” during their stay.

The previous group of evacuees were provided with fully furnished rooms, food and laundry facilities, as well as PlayStations, Xboxes and children’s toys.

On Sunday the death toll in mainland China from the coronavirus strain known as Covid-19 rose by 97 to 2,442, Chinese health authorities said.

This marked a slight fall on the number of new deaths in the 24 hours to Sunday morning, compared to the previous day.

Officials also announced 648 new infections, representing a spike compared to the downward trend of recent days.