Coronavirus: Brits told not to leave cabins on quarantined cruise ship as 10 passengers test positive

Andy Wells

Two Brits on board a cruise ship that has seen an outbreak of the new coronavirus have been told not to leave their cabins for two weeks.

Ten people on board the Diamond Princess have tested positive for the deadly virus, leading authorities to lock down the vessel and put it in quarantine.

The ship, carrying around 3,700 passengers, had been in limbo in Yokohama Bay, awaiting test results after an 80-year-old passenger who left the ship in Hong Kong on 25 January tested positive for the coronavirus.

The diagnosis of the virus was announced to the ship on Wednesday morning after the situation "changed dramatically overnight", passenger David Abel, of Woodford Halse in Oxfordshire, told Sky News.

Abel said an intercom announcement at 6.30am told passengers they could not leave their cabins for any reason.

YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 05: The Diamond Princess cruise ship with around 3,700 people on board sits anchored in quarantine off the port of Yokohama after a number of passengers were confirmed to be infected with coronavirus, on February 5, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan. 10 passengers are now believed to be infected with the coronavirus as Japanese authorities work to screen all people on board. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections to 33 in Japan. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, with around 3,700 people on board, sits anchored in quarantine off the port of Yokohama, Japan (Getty)
YOKOHAMA, JAPAN - FEBRUARY 05: A boat passes the Diamond Princess cruise ship with around 3,700 people on board as it sits anchored in quarantine off the port of Yokohama after a number of passengers were confirmed to be infected with coronavirus, on February 5, 2020 in Yokohama, Japan. 10 passengers are now believed to be infected with the coronavirus as Japanese authorities work to screen all people on board. The new cases bring the total number of confirmed infections to 33 in Japan. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
A boat passes the Diamond Princess (Getty)
David Abel said he will have to remain in his cabin on board the ship for two weeks (Sky News)
David Abel said he will have to remain in his cabin on board the ship for two weeks (Sky News)
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Speaking on a video posted on Facebook, Abel, who is on board the ship with his wife Sally, said: "We are now officially in quarantine.

"It appears that our quarantine is on board the ship, that we will not be taken off to a hospital.

"The 10 people that are affected, they are being taken off very soon by the local coastguard into a medical facility. We are to remain on board the ship and we are confined to our cabins.”

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Officials boarded the ship on Monday night and told passengers they would be running medical checks on everyone.

This took from midnight until 7pm local time to complete.

Passengers had their temperatures taken, and were asked if they had a cough and if they were taking any medication to reduce their temperature.

Medical workers in protective suits lead a passenger tested positive for a new coronavirus from the cruise ship Diamond Princess at Yokohama Port in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Japan said Wednesday 10 people on the cruise ship have tested positive for the new virus and were being taken to hospitals. Health Minister Nobukatsu Kato said all the 3,700 people and passengers on the ship will be quarantined on board for up to 14 days under Japanese law. (Hiroko Harima/Kyodo News via AP)
Medical workers in protective suits lead a passenger tested positive for coronavirus from the ship (AP)
Medical workers in protective suits lead a passenger tested positive for a new coronavirus from the cruise ship Diamond Princess at Yokohama Port in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Japan said Wednesday 10 people on the cruise ship have tested positive for the new virus and were being taken to hospitals. Health Minister Nobukatsu Kato said all the 3,700 people and passengers on the ship will be quarantined on board for up to 14 days under Japanese law. (Hiroko Harima/Kyodo News via AP)
Medical workers in protective suits surround the quarantined vessel (AP)

Abel added: "The positive thing in this is... our balcony is facing the sun.

"If we don't come back with a suntan then there's something wrong. We are allowed on to our balconies, so I think most of my day will be spent writing, researching and being absolutely lazy.

"It could be worse – we could be taken off and put into a local hospital.

"Naturally we want to be home. We are missing our little Yorkie dogs. But two weeks, it'll go quite quickly I hope.”

A worker wearing protective gears sprays disinfectant at a Chinese food store as a precaution against a new coronavirus at Daelim market in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2020. Deaths from a new virus rose to 490 in mainland China on Wednesday while new cases on a Japanese cruise ship, in Hong Kong and in other places showed the increasing spread of the outbreak and renewed attention toward containing it. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
A worker wearing protective gears sprays disinfectant at a Chinese food store as a precaution against coronavirus at Daelim market in Seoul, South Korea (AP)
Pedestrians wear face masks in Hong Kong on February 5, 2020, as a preventative measure following a virus outbreak which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan. - More Chinese cities hunkered down by fencing off streets and telling millions of people to stay home as the death toll from the new coronavirus soared to nearly 500 on February 5. Hong Kong now has 18 confirmed infections, the majority people who were infected in mainland China. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
Pedestrians wear face masks in Hong Kong as a preventative measure (Getty)

The Abels arrived on the ship 15 days ago and said they visited five more ports after the man carrying the coronavirus disembarked.

After his illness came to light they had to undergo more health checks to visit their final port.