Conditions now more challenging on quarantined cruise ship, passengers say

Conditions on the cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan due to the coronavirus outbreak are becoming more challenging, a British couple have said.

David and Sally Abel told Sky News on Wednesday that life on board the Diamond Princess – which is quarantined at the port of Yokohama – is getting harder.

There have been 169 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, officially named Covid-19 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), among the ship's 3,711 passengers and crew.

Covid-19: confirmed cases
Covid-19: confirmed cases

The couple, who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, said passengers had been kept awake one night due to a woman crying in her cabin.

Mrs Abel added: "They are looking after us very well but obviously we are confined to our cabin and it's getting harder.

"We are now into the second week, it seems an eternity to go."

Mr Abel said: "It is more challenging, as each day progresses we are having additional people testing positive.

"Passengers are now getting tested, that's why we are seeing the results now on a daily basis, so it is getting people's moods down.

"One of the passengers in the night was keeping other passengers awake, an old lady who was crying for a couple of hours in her cabin.

"Life isn't as easy as it was last week – it's a bit more challenging."

But the couple said that if they test negative for the virus, they could be taken off the ship within days.

Mr Abel added: "We still have not been updated on February 19 – that's the disembarkation date.

"But it's being brought forward, we understand, for people who have not got the symptoms, who have gone through the testing with all the doctors who are on board, and we are seeing people leave the ship – it has been happening all day long.

"I think we will have a quicker disembarkation, if we are cleared the correct medical way it could be brought forward as soon as another couple of days."

But Mrs Abel said the couple fear being separated if one of them tests positive.

She added: "What we are frightened of is if one of us is positive and the other negative and we are split up.

"That's what we don't want to happen, but if it does it does – what can we do?"