A JEWISH couple from Melbourne are currently in isolation aboard the Diamond Princess – the ship in lockdown in Japan due to detection of the coronavirus, now diagnosed among at least 175 of its passengers and crew.
Ready to disembark on the final day of the 14-day cruise last Tuesday, Adina and Les Morris together with the other passengers were then told to return to their cabin.
“That’s where the drama started,” Adina told The AJN from the forced isolation of their stateroom, port-side at Yokohama.
“We were told that we would need to be completely isolated until the 19th [of February]”.
Now (Thursday) in their ninth day of isolation, Adina explained that she and Les, aged in their 70s and 80s respectively, had been issued with thermometers and are under instructions to take their temperatures three times a day. If a reading above 37.5 degrees is detected, it must be reported immediately.
“As days go on, I’m becoming more anxious. Yesterday (Monday), they took 65 people off the ship who had been infected, so you think who is going to be next?”
Despite the alarm, Adina commended Princess Cruises and the Japanese government with how they are dealing with the catastrophe.
“Three times a day they bring us trays of food. They also bring fresh towels, water, linen and toiletries, and we receive announcements from the captain a few times a day,” she said.
“But we are very, very disappointed by the Australian government. There are 220 Australians aboard and not one of us has been contacted by the government at all. It’s as if we don’t exist,” she said, claiming other passengers have been contacted by their respective governments.
The couple are taking it day by day, thankful for their balcony room. “It is dreadful waiting, and you hope that you are not next to get that virus.
“Thank God we have been lucky. Let’s hope that stays so.”