Diamond Princess is quarantined at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama. Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Surrey, B.C.

Coronavirus ‘grounds’ couple’s trip

Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas

A Filipino couple from Surrey, B.C. is among 3,600 passengers onboard the cruise ship  Diamond Princess now being quarantined in Yokohama, Japan due to fears of the coronavirus.

PhilippineCanadianNews.com (PCN.Com) has learned that the couple, Marichu and Ding Torrejos is onboard the  Diamond Princess now on its last week of quarantine at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama.

“We’ve been having some internet problems since this morning so I can’t even  get to open  your mail until now.

Yes, I don’t think there’s any problem for an interview especially if it will help people to be updated on what’s happening here inside Diamond Princess.

Thanks for your wishes and we’re keeping ourselves positive that this is will be over soon,”  Marichu told PCN.Com in an email on February 10.

A second email to the couple sent yesterday on Feb. 12 has not been answered at posting time.

They are among 251 Canadians on board the ship which left Yokohama on Jan. 20 before making stops in Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Okinawa, Japan.

Although the quarantine is supposed to end this week, the family is not sure yet according to the daughter who told News1130.

“According to my dad, because the quarantine is at least 14 days, they don’t even know whether they’ll be out after the 14 days,” Jennifer said. “They’ll be doing regular checks over the next couple weeks to see if other people are feeling symptoms, and it could even be extended from there.”

People are confined to their rooms on the ship for the time being, and supplies — including food — are being sent in.

“I don’t know if it’s just an act so that we don’t get worried, but they seem to be OK,” Jennifer said of her parents, adding she was told the ship is being disinfected.

While her parents are seemingly doing fine, Jennifer said the whole situation is distracting for her and her family members, to say the least.

“I’m at my computer a lot during the day for work, so I find myself googling a whole lot,” she said.

However, the concern is for her parents’ well being. Jennifer noted both her mom and dad are on medication, and they only brought so much with them for their trip. While she has been told a doctor is on board the ship to help in situations like these, it’s something that she thinks of.

Another point keeping Jennifer’s mind busy is the fact the family was supposed to celebrate a milestone next week.

“My mom’s 64, my dad turns 65 next week and we were supposed to have a birthday party for him, but now he’s going to be quarantined on the ship,” she explained, finding some humour in the situation, despite feeling a little sad.

She hopes her parents, who she said have not shown any symptoms of illness, will be let out of their room sooner rather than later, reports News1130.

On Monday (Feb. 10), officials in China and Japan confirmed that 136 passengers on board the ship that arrived in Yokohama on February 3 have been diagnosed with having the virus. They’ve been quarantined at Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal ever since their arrival.

The number of cases jumped from around 70, the number of cases that were initially confirmed. The ship is carrying 3,700 passengers and crew members overall, according to Business Insider.

About half of the ship’s guests are from Japan, but there are also passengers from around the world. Sick passengers and crew so far have hailed from countries including Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, the Philippines, Ukraine, the UK and US.