A Perth woman says her elderly father has contracted coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship off Japan and is being removed from the vessel.
Marcelly, who didn’t give her surname, told ABC radio a doctor told her father Val on Friday morning he had tested positive to the virus and would be taken to hospital.
Her mother Iris returned a negative result and remains on the ship.
They had both boarded in Perth in “fantastic health”.
“He’s actually feeling really good – that’s the strangeness about this situation,” she said.
“A lot of the crew have also fallen ill that are preparing the food so there are people saying it may be coming from the food, but again there’s nothing conclusive.
“My mum and dad both had a bit of mild gastro.”
She said her biggest worry was staying in contact with her father as he does not have a mobile phone.
Confirmation is being sought from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Of the 3000 passengers and crew on board the ship 2018 have been confirmed as having the virus, Japan’s health ministry said yesterday.
This is the biggest cluster of coronavirus cases outside China, with 44 people testing positive for the virus yesterday.
There are about 200 Australians on board the cruise ship.
Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said he “really felt” for the Australians stuck on the ship, some in cramped cabins with no windows, and that the conditions were so bad a mental health helpline is being set up for stressed out Aussies on board.
Mr Hunt also said he was “deeply aware” of the economic consequences of barring people from crossing the border who has been in mainland China but the risk of coronavirus spreading in Australia was “extraordinary” and drastic measures were needed.