Cairns couple on board quarantined cruise ship
A CAIRNS couple are on board a cruise ship in Japan where 10 people have confirmed to have contracted coronavirus.
There are fears more than 200 Australians on board may also be at risk of infection.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship, docked in the Japanese port of Yokohama near Tokyo, will remain in quarantine for two weeks while Japanese authorities attempt to contain any further spread of the outbreak.
Palm Cove retirees Paul and Jacqueline Fidrmuc, who are on the ship, said the captain announced at 6.30am yesterday 10 people had been tested positive to coronavirus and they were to be quarantined on the ship for two weeks.
The couple formerly owned the Clifton Beach BP on the Captain Cook Highway before retiring in 2018.
All passengers had their temperatures taken and were asked questions about their health.
His wife said she was more worried that there could be more cases.
"That's the biggest worry, there may be more people who have the virus but it hasn't yet come out," she said.
"They have been very good with the hand washing procedures, very strict."
The couple - like other passengers - have been quarantined to their cabin for the next two weeks.
Mr Fidrmuc said he had seen people in full hazmat suits entering a cabin.
"We're fine at the moment, it's day one," Mr Fidrmuc told The Cairns Post.
"Check back in two weeks, we might have a bed sheet up to divide the room in two parts."
He said spirits were generally high among his neighbours.
"We are talking to other passengers via the balcony- I might start a balcony yoga class," he joked.
"We spoke to our mums and kids - they have found it hilarious.
"We are in a suite with two tvs and free wifi- there's a fridge but no beers; it's two weeks of detox.
"I'd rather be here than on Christmas Island; they are the ones who are really suffering.
"This is a hotel room but we're just locked in."
Patient zero -the man who brought the virus onboard the ship - embarked in Tokyo on January 20 when the Fidrmucs did.
He disembarked at Hong Kong on January 25.
"We were supposed to get off the ship yesterday," Mr Fidrmuc said.
"Some people here really want to get home; you can't do anything about it.
"Our cabin man said this is all new to them - people are running around wearing masks."
Meanwhile a fourth case of novel coronavirus has been confirmed in Queensland.
The 37-year-old man, a Chinese national from Wuhan, is currently isolated in the Gold Coast University Hospital.
The man is a member of the same tour group travelling with the previously confirmed cases - a 44-year-old man, a 42-year-old woman and an eight-year-old boy.
All four people who have been confirmed to have novel coronavirus are stable.
The five others from the same tour group remain in isolation in GCUH.