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

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

VIA Rail lays off 1,000 unionized workers across the country

Northern B.C. route Jasper to Prince George to Prince Rupert is not affected by VIA Rail layoffs

Overall house sales drop in the northwest

COVID-19 pandemic slowed market activity

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Northern Indigenous cannabis cultivation facility to supply over 60 private B.C. stores

Construction to soon resume on Nations Cannabis in Burns Lake

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

PHOTOS: Inside a newly-listed $22M mega-mansion on ALR land in B.C.

The large home, located on ALR land, is one of the last new mansions to legally be built on ALR land

Thousands of dollars in stolen rice found in B.C. warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

Most Read