The son of a British couple who caught coronavirus on a cruise ship in Japan today destroyed the “horrible” handling of the case by the British government.
Steve Abel said his parents David and Sally Abel “got no communication” from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and felt “very unloved” despite repeated requests for help.
The British couple were among the 88 people who today tested positive for the virus in Japan, increasing the number of infections on board the ship to 542.
They will now be taken to a further quarantine on the mainland, just a day before their quarantine would end aboard the Diamond Princess.
Their son also destroyed the “failure” of Japanese quarantine measures after the number of patients had increased, despite the two-week block.
Steve Abel said he could hear his father vomiting when he spoke to his parents on the phone, although he thought it was “shock” rather than a virus symptom.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has come under increasing pressure to arrange a rescue flight after the US had evacuated 340 of its citizens on Monday.
The British Embassy in Japan finally said today that it was “organizing a flight back to the UK” for the 78 British on board the ship, but it is unclear whether Mr. and Mrs. Abel are eligible now.
The lockdown will officially end tomorrow, but passengers in the vicinity of virus patients must take out a 14-day quarantine from the date of their last contact.
Even for passengers who can leave, Japanese officials say the unloading process can take several days.
British cruise ship David Abel and his wife Sally (pictured in their cabin at the Diamond Princess) have tested positive for corona virus in Japan
The Diamond Princess (pictured today) remains locked and hundreds are quarantined for a longer period, even after the official incubation period ends tomorrow
When asked about his parents’ treatment by the government, Steve Abel described it as “terrible.”
“They didn’t do anything,” he told BBC Breakfast.
‘They don’t communicate with us, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has my number, my wife’s number, my brother’s number, my sister’s number and they don’t make any reference and we call them every day for four or five days . ”
He added: “They are very cheerful people. There are cracks in the armor and they come down. “
‘My mother often breaks out in tears, my father is hot.
“They don’t get communication from our country, so they’re in the dark and feel very unloved.”
He described the conditions on the ship and said: “Quarantine in Japan has been a failure, that is clear, so [they] will clearly have to go through it again.
“I wish they would go through this, where the food is more suitable for my father.”
But he added: “I’m not really worried about the virus – looking at the recovery statistics. It’s more about the stress, the diet. ”
David Abel revealed the couple’s diagnosis on Facebook, where he regularly provided updates on board the ship, but now expects a “time of silence.”
‘We have proved to be positive and will soon be leaving for the hospital. All blessings, “said the 74-year-old.
In the last of his regular Facebook videos, Mr. Abel said he was “convinced that we will test negative” after doctors examined the couple for the virus.
After receiving his test results, Mr. Abel initially said the couple was on their way to the hospital, but later said they were destined for a “hostel.”
“Partners are sent there awaiting quarantine. No telephone, no wifi and no medical facilities, “he claimed.
Abel also led calls for Whitehall to organize a rescue flight after the US had withdrawn their citizens and other countries had set up similar flights.
Following increasing frustration from British passengers, the British embassy in Tokyo today hastily made arrangements to repatriate them.
“Given the conditions on board, we are working on a flight back to the UK for British citizens at the Diamond Princess,” the embassy said.
“Our employees contact British nationals on board to make the necessary arrangements.”
Passengers are seen today at the Diamond Princess, where two weeks have to be closed tomorrow
Clothes hang to dry on a balcony of the Diamond Princess, where passengers are locked up in their cabin for two weeks
Japanese authorities have confirmed 88 cases today, bringing the total to 542.
Sixty-five of those who tested positive did not yet show any symptoms.
Approximately 169 people had tested positive in the last two days, which means that the total almost doubled in the last 72 hours.
Almost 3,000 people are still aboard the Diamond Princess and were told that their quarantine would end on February 19, which is tomorrow.
However, Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said the ship’s departure process would take two to three days.
“We’ve done tests for everyone” on board the ship, he told reporters.
“Some results are already known … and for those whose test results are already clear, we are working on preparing debarkation from the 19th,” he said.
Passengers who have been in close contact with more than 450 virus patients on board must complete a 14-day quarantine from the date they last saw them.
The ship’s crew, many of whom have accompanied the guests and delivered food, are also expected to observe another quarantine after the last guests have left.
Medical personnel wearing protective clothing can be seen at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal where the Diamond Princess is anchored
A bus with American citizens left the Daikaku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama harbor yesterday after Washington organized an overhead bridge
American passengers with masks look out the window of a bus that took them from Yokohama harbor to an airport from where they flew over the Pacific Ocean
Mr. and Mrs. Abel were among 3,711 people who were taken into quarantine when the ship arrived in Yokohama two weeks ago.
Mr. Abel won praise for his good-humored Facebook videos, which became a valuable source of information for the world’s media.
Japanese authorities ordered tests after an 80-year-old passenger who left the ship in Hong Kong last month turned out to have the virus.
Passengers are limited to their cabins amid a growing number of cases that have given rise to growing criticism of the Japanese authorities.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the American National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said USA today that the quarantine process was ‘failed’.
“I would like to sprinkle it and be diplomatic about it, but it failed. People got infected on that ship, “he said.
“Something went wrong while quarantining that ship. I don’t know what it was, but many people got infected on that ship. ”
More than 1,800 people have now been screened for the virus on the Diamond Princess, of which more than 400 tested positive.
As a result, the cruise ship is now the largest cluster of virus cases outside of the Chinese mainland.
Another Brit, Alan Steele, was divorced from his wife Wendy and removed from the ship ten days ago after he tested positive for the virus.
A total of 78 British were aboard the ship when it was taken into quarantine, it is believed.
More than 300 Americans were evacuated from the ship early Monday, including more than a dozen who tested positive for the virus.
The evacuees are now confronted with another 14-day quarantine after they landed in North America yesterday.
The two British tourists are among 169 people who have confirmed the virus in the last 48 hours, bringing the total on board the Diamond Princess (photo) to more than 500
Canada said today that it had “secured a chartered flight to repatriating Canadians aboard the Diamond Princess” but gave no further details.
There were 256 Canadians aboard the ship, 32 of which so far tested positive for the virus.
South Korea will send a presidential plane on Tuesday to fly back four nationals and one Japanese husband, an official reporter said.
There are a total of 14 South Koreans on board, but the other ten have not been evacuated because they live in Japan, Yonhap news agency reported.
While foreign governments have laid down their decision to remove civilians as an attempt to reduce the burden on the Japanese authorities, many have interpreted the evacuations as critical of the way Tokyo handles the situation.
The US and Australia have told citizens that if they refuse repatriation and an additional 14-day quarantine, they are not allowed to come home for at least two weeks, suggesting that they do not believe the ship-based quarantine worked.
Experts say that cruise ships are vulnerable to the spread of viruses because of the large number of older passengers being locked up together.
A study by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that the elderly and the sick are most at risk from the virus.
In addition, passengers who have spent large sums of money on a vacation do not want to mark their medical problems and endanger their journeys.
Health officials in protective suits on a shuttle bus carrying American passengers who have chosen to leave the Diamond Princess cruise ship
There are nearly 3,000 people aboard the Diamond Princess, who have been held since February 3 in a port near Yokohama, Japan without passengers being allowed to leave
Japan has also confirmed at least 65 cases in its own country, including many involving people who have not made a recent trip to China.
Authorities have said that the virus is now being transmitted locally and have asked citizens to avoid crowds and non-essential meetings.
On Monday, the amateur section of the Tokyo Marathon, which was expected to attract around 38,000 runners, was canceled. Only top athletes can now participate.
The public celebration for the birthday of Emperor Naruhito has also been canceled due to virus fear.
The corona virus outbreak has killed more than 1,800 people in total and nearly 72,500 people have confirmed that they have the virus.
The official death toll in China reached 1,868 today after a further 98 people died, mainly in Wuhan and the surrounding province of Hubei.
Five people died outside mainland China – in France, Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Hong Kong.
The virus was said to have originated last year in a market where wild animals are sold in Wuhan before spreading across China.