YOKOHAMA, Japan (ABC4 News) – At least 10 people aboard a cruise ship moored in Japan have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Since arriving at the Japanese port of Yokohama, the Diamond Princess has been quarantined at sea while more than 3700 passengers and crew on board undergo health screenings — and two couples from St. George are among the quarantined.
Jerri and Mark Jorgensen told ABC4 News they were all packed and ready to fly home to St. George, but that didn’t happen. For at least the next 14 days, they’ll be confined to the four walls of their room on that cruise ship.
“We’re going to be on this cruise ship for a month because it was a 15-day cruise and now we’re on for 14 more days,” said Jerri Jorgensen.
“It’s day one, it’s day two, and we’re in pretty good spirits,” Mark Jorgensen said. “I hope we’re in just as good of spirits day 10, 11, 12.”
Officials say an 80-year-old man from Hong Kong likely boarded the ship with the virus and left seeking medical help after five days on board.
A spokesperson for Princess Cruises, which operates the ship, said that those who tested positive include three Japanese guests, three guests from Hong Kong, two Australian guests, one American guest and one crew member from the Philippines.
“With us, it was just a couple minutes, they did a temperature check, asked us how we’re doing and moved on. We met this one family, with little kids, a couple of 3 and 4-year-olds, and I can’t imagine what they’re having to deal with it,” said Mark Jorgensen.
The Jorgensens say they’re getting their medications for free, along with daily meals, water, and complimentary internet and phone calls.
“We’re fine, and they’re gonna take care of us. Japan is a first-world country,” Jerri added. “We’re just hoping we’ll still like each other at the end of this.”
Karey and Roger Maniscalco, another St. George couple quarantined on board the ship, said they feel similarly.
“We are healthy and okay,” Karey Maniscalco said. “Other than being trapped in a small room, we are good.”
Officials say the ship has gone out to sea to produce freshwater but will be docked in Yokohama so crews can bring additional food and other supplies on board.
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