A British couple who have been on a quarantined cruise ship in Japan have tested positive for coronavirus, their son has told the BBC.
Sally and David Abel, from Northamptonshire, are among British nationals on the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined on 3 February.
The UK Foreign Office said it was “working to organize a flight back to the UK “for British nationals.
An evacuation is expected to take place within the next two to three days.
Mr and Mrs Abel’s son Steve told BBC Breakfast that his father had emailed him on Tuesday morning to tell him they had both tested positive and were being taken to hospital.
He said he then spoke to his mother, who was doing “OK” and “at least they were going together “and would not be separated.
However, he said subseq uent posts from his father on Facebook suggested they were being taken to a hostel instead, adding “no- one knows what’s going on “.
Another British passenger on board the ship, Elaine Spencer, said she had been “very disappointed “with the UK government initial response and they should have organized a rescue flight sooner.
She told Radio 4’s Today program that British passengers who wanted to get on the rescue flight had to sign an agreement that they would go into quarantine for days on their return to the UK.
She said they had received a note from the Foreign Office which told them that if they did not get on the flight, it was unlikely they would be allowed out of Japan.
“I need to go home, I want to see my family but obviously it’s going to be another days (after the flight) . I wish that they’d decided to do this last week. ”
The US has already repatriated more than (of its citizens from the ship. Image copyright Reuters
The president of Princess Cruises, Jan Swartz, said the company has sent more doctors and nurses on board the ship.
There is still uncertainty over whether passengers will be allowed to leave the ship at the end of the 14 – day quarantine period on Wednesday.
According to official figures on Monday, four Britons with confirmed coronavirus are currently in hospital in Japan. As of Monday at : (GMT,
in the UK a total of 4, 501 people have been tested for coronavirus. The majority have been confirmed negative, only nine are positive.
In a statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning, the Foreign Office said: “Given the conditions on board, we are working to organize a flight back to the UK for British nationals on the Diamond Princess as soon as possible.
“Our staff are contacting British nationals on board to make the necessary arrangements. We urge all those who have not yet responded to get in touch immediately. ”
Affected British nationals should call the British Embassy in Tokyo on 81 3 51526875 Earlier, Downing Street said it was “urgently considering all options to guarantee the health and safety of those on board “.
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