‘It’s a floating prison’: Briton on quarantined coronavirus cruise liner says he worries how the 3,700 on board will cope for two weeks as other passengers post images of food and conditions

Wednesday, February 5, 2020
By Paul Martin

David Abel and 2,655 other passengers have been ordered to stay in their cabins aboard Diamond Princess
Ten people were taken off the Diamond Princess by Japan’s coast guard after testing positive for coronavirus
They are two Australians, one American, three from Hong Kong, one from Japan and a Filipino crew member
The 3,700 others will remain quarantined on the vessel for 14 days, while the sick have been taken to hospital
An 80-year-old man tested positive for coronavirus after leaving the ship, sparking the drastic measures

5 February 2020

A British cruise ship passenger stuck on board a quarantined ‘floating prison’ in Japan has today voiced fears over how his thousands of shipmates will cope with a two-week lockdown.

David Abel and his 2,655 fellow passengers have been ordered to stay in their cabins aboard the Diamond Princess after ten passengers tested positive for coronavirus.

Passengers are facing another 13 days stuck at sea to prevent the virus from spreading, and the Briton today described how luxury dinners had been replaced with rationed food delivered by staff in face masks.

Mr Abel has been sharing updates with the world’s media from his ninth-deck cabin – but said he would most like to be interviewed by Holly Willoughby.

Other passengers have shared pictures of their food including bread rolls with cheese and meat, plates of chicken with rice, and a chocolate dessert – while one cabin had a sign on its door with a request for English Breakfast teabags.

The ten infected people – two Australians, one American, three guests from Hong Kong, two from Japan and one Filipino crew member – were taken ashore by the Japanese coast guard and sent to nearby hospitals today.

More than 200 others were anxiously awaiting their test results after they were selected for extra screening and medics in hazmat suits went deck-to-deck to test for the killer virus.

The vessel today left Yokohama Bay, where it was anchored yesterday, and returned to the open sea to collect seawater – which can be converted for use in showers and drinking water.

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