A look inside the Diamond Princess, which is under quarantine off of Japan’s coast, following an outbreak of the coronavirus. (Facebook photo)

B.C. couple on coronavirus-quarantined ship urge feds to step up

In limbo off Japan, Nigel Finch-Cole and spouse Patrick also make polite plea for Timmy’s coffee

A White Rock couple is among Canadian passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that has been quarantined off of Japan’s coast due to the coronavirus.

Nigel Finch-Cole – onboard with his spouse Patrick Finch and four other Canadian travel companions, both family members and friends – has been posting information, updates and photos to his Facebook page regarding the unfolding situation since Feb. 4, when he shared that the ship was at anchor in Yokohama Bay under quarantine.

“Japanese officials visited each stateroom overnight to conduct tests on all passengers and crew and temperature checks,” Finch-Cole wrote. “We won’t know the results until (Feb. 5). Meanwhile, we sit and wait. All travel plans must be changed and the next cruise has been cancelled.”

The Princess Cruises ship – with 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew – was placed under quarantine Feb. 4, following a confirmed outbreak of the coronavirus, which was first reported in Wuhan, China in late December.

In his series of posts, Finch-Cole describes four days of being confined to staterooms; the distress as new cases are confirmed; ambulances arriving to take sick passengers away; being issued masks and gloves “to allow short time for fresh air on port side promenade deck… and told to stay 2 meters apart”; being provided a phone number to call for mental-health purposes; and, an appeal for help returning home.

“We request and require the Canadian/British Governments repatriate us to complete quarantine in Canada or the United Kingdom,” the British-born Finch-Cole wrote on Feb. 7.

He followed that post with one asking friends to also apply pressure by contacting the prime minister’s office or their MP.

The stateroom-confinement order was “very upsetting and worrying for us, our family and friends who are also aboard,” Finch-Cole wrote, of steps announced following confirmation of the first 10 cases onboard.

As of Monday, that number had grown to 66, with eight Canadians confirmed among those who tested positive.

In a news release, officials with Princess Cruises said the results were confirmed by the Japanese Ministry of Health and that it is following the ministry’s “disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases.”

The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency on Jan. 30, after cases spiked more than tenfold in a week.

READ MORE: WHO declares global emergency over coronavirus

READ MORE: Princess Cruises confirms new Canadian coronavirus case aboard Diamond Princess

The quarantine period aboard the Diamond Princess is to continue until Feb. 19, barring “unforeseen developments,” according to a statement issued by the cruise line last week.

In the meantime, Finch-Cole is adding some humour – and reflection – to his social-media updates.

“If some kind soul would be kind enough to send us Canadians some lovely Tim Horton’s instant coffee, we would love you forever!” he wrote in his latest post, finishing with, “Take care, love one another, be kind and most of all, enjoy your freedom.”

– with files from Canadian Press

Coronaviruswhite rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

White Rock couple Patrick Finch and Nigel Finch-Cole are among Canadians aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship, anchored off of Tokyo, due to the coronoavirus outbreak. (Facebook photo)

Just Posted

‘It’s job No. 1 right now’: B.C.’s Harmac Pacific providing pulp for critical medical supplies

Bryan Reid Sr. of Williams Lake said they received a call of thanks from Canada’s Chrystia Freeland

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

Visitor to Kamloops army club tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The individual visited Anavets 290 Army and Navy Club between March 13 and March 17

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

CN suspending service between Williams Lake and Squamish, effective April 3

Rail traffic north of Williams Lake will be routed to Vancouver through Prince George and Kamloops

Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, fear it’s a mistake

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

COVID-19 self-isolation plan or quarantine, returning B.C. residents told

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Sanders drops 2020 bid, leaving Biden as likely nominee

Sanders plans to talk to his supporters later Wednesday

B.C. faith leaders, Horgan discuss need for virtual religious ceremonies

Leaders were open to providing other ways to celebrate during the pandemic

Emergency COVID-19 funding now available for children with special needs

Funding to be used to help support families through uncertain times of pandemic

Most Read