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Second Coral Princess passenger falls ill

Newlyweds on a honeymoon cruise in the southern hemisphere on a ship badly affected by with Covid-19 have both contracted with the disease, it was revealed yesterday.

The Royal Gazette earlier reported that a 78-year-old Pembroke man who had been on board the Coral Princess, had tested positive for the disease.

Now his bride has also tested positive for the coronavirus just after they returned last week on a special repatriation flight from Miami, Florida, and went into mandatory quarantine.

“The man is being treated in hospital and his new wife, also in her seventies and whose symptoms were said to be milder, is still in isolation at a government quarantine centre.

Covid-19 was diagnosed in the father of three after he was taken by ambulance to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital last Thursday.

His wife was confirmed to have the disease a few days later.

A fellow passenger on the Coral Princess, who asked not to be named, said: “When we saw them getting off the ship I knew he was sick, but I thought he was going in for his hip because he couldn't walk.

“I didn't dream it was anything else wrong with him then and didn't even know that he had gone to the hospital. But his wife told everybody here.

“She felt we needed to know in case anyone wasn't feeling well because all the symptoms are not the same.

The man added: “I wish them both well.”

The couple were among a 22-strong group of Bermudians stranded on the Bermudian-registered Coral Princess who arrived back on the island last Wednesday. The source said news that the couple had contracted the coronavirus had caused concern among fellow cruise passengers at the quarantine centre.

The passenger said: “It is a concern because we were together the last day almost all day together.

“Even before we went into lockdown we were all together almost every day having lunch or breakfast together.

“It is nerve-racking, but we are at the mercy of how the quarantine programme works.”

The passenger added: “Even though nobody is saying, I would imagine they are thinking ‘am I next?', ‘am I infected?'

“All those things must go through their head.

“Of course, the concern is should we be tested because of what's gone down. But the people in charge said basically you have to show a symptom in order to be tested.”

The source added: “I'm sure they don't have enough kits for everyone to show up and be tested. But I would've thought because some of us were closer than others everybody should've been tested, but that's just my opinion.

“It's a hard situation to get a grip on.

“We call each every day to make sure everyone is feeling OK and someone from the health department is supposed to be calling every day to also make sure everyone is fine.”

The Coral Princess set sail from Santiago, Chile, on March 5 for a 32-day cruise around South America and the Caribbean.

The ship got as far as the Falkland Islands, but was denied entry to other ports because of the pandemic, including its final destination in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Passengers were then confined to their cabins for seven days after some showed “flu-like symptoms”.

The ship visited Bridgetown, Barbados, on March 31, but no one was allowed ashore.

Samples were sent for tests while the vessel was in port.

It was later reported that 12 people on the ship had tested positive for the coronavirus. Three died as a result.

Two people died on board as the ship approached Florida and another passenger died at a Miami hospital after an hours-long wait to be transported on shore.

There were 34 Bermudians on the ship at first, but 12 managed to catch a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina.

They travelled to the airport in a bus escorted by police after the ship was granted permission by Argentine authorities to enter port.

The rest missed another flight because of a delay in the return of the bus to the ship and were stranded on board.

An unsuccessful attempt to disembark passengers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was also made.

The Coral Princess's sister ship in the Princess Cruises line, Diamond Princess, was earlier quarantined in Yokohama, Japan, after hundreds of passengers contracted Covid-19.

At least ten people who were on board have since died.

Elderly newlyweds, among the passengers who made a belated return to Bermuda from the ill-fated Coral Princess cruise, have tested positive for Covid-19 (Photograph supplied)

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Published April 15, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated April 15, 2020 at 8:03 am)

Second Coral Princess passenger falls ill

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