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

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

Two-vehicle crash in Langford sends one to hospital Monday morning

Driver sent to hospital with unspecified injuries

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read