Brit couple diagnosed with pneumonia after contracting coronavirus

A British couple diagnosed with coronavirus after spending two weeks in quarantine on board the Princess Diamond have contracted pneumonia.

David and Sally Abel, from Northamptonshire, were on the cruise ship for their 50th wedding anniversary when it was placed into quarantine near Yokohama, Japan.

A repatriation flight carrying 32 quarantined people from the ship landed in the UK this morning, although Mr Abel and his wife remain in a "prison"-like hospital.

Mr Abel has now been diagnosed with acute pneumonia, while Mrs Abel has mild pneumonia.

Steve Abel, their son, posted video updates on the couple's YouTube channel alongside his wife Roberta on Friday night and Saturday morning.

He said: "They are in a really bad way.

"Dad is very weak. He can't walk around – he's in a wheelchair now. I haven't seen him in a wheelchair, but mum tells me he has to be put in a wheelchair to go from the ambulance to the hospital.

"They are really distressed. His exact words to me were, 'This has to stop now, we can't take any more of this. It's like a prison."'


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The pensioners have reportedly been left in a hospital room that has no shower or bathing facilities, and only basic paper towels.

Their son said: "They haven't eaten properly. Neither of them can eat the food.

"They don't know what's happening, they haven't had any treatments.

"They have been told they won't get any treatments, but have been told they will see if they test negative for the coronavirus in two or three days and if they test negative twice they can go – but that doesn't treat the pneumonia, which is what we are so worried about."

The couple were originally in a hospital just 90 minutes from the coronavirus-stricken cruise ship, but Mrs Abel called her son in the middle of the night to say the couple were suddenly being moved to a different "three-star" hospital.

It took seven hours for the family to track down which hospital they had been taken to.

Princess Cruises have sent the Abels a mobile phone that can make calls to their family.

"They have spoken to a doctor who can liaise with them a bit better," the couples' son said.


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"That is really reassuring and has done a lot for their mental well-being. They are brighter today and seem a lot happier, but they are still in the same situation."

The family have said they are willing to fly out to Japan to bring the couple home, and have also criticised the reaction of the Foreign Office, and said their response had been "next to useless".

A spokesman for the FCO said: "The welfare of all British nationals is of the highest priority to the UK government.

"We are working with the Japanese authorities to ensure those British nationals who are remaining in Japan for health reasons get the best care possible."

A flight carrying 32 quarantined people from the Diamond Princess landed in the UK this morning.

The plane, which carried British and European evacuees as well as British government and medical staff, touched down at Ministry of Defence base Boscombe Down in Wiltshire shortly after 11.30am.

The flight had previously been delayed by a day after the British embassy said it was "logistically complicated".

Passengers will now be taken by road to Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral for 14 days of quarantine to protect against the spread of the illness should any of them be infected.

They have so far tested negative for Covid-19.

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