Local coronavirus patient speaks to I-Team from hospital in Japan

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– A local man tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, and now he’s speaking out to the FOX 8 I-Team from his bed inside a Japanese hospital.

The local man and his wife were travelling on the Diamond Princess, a cruise ship making world headlines since hundreds of people have tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We were confined in our cabins. Couldn’t leave our cabins at all. How did I get it? I have no clue,” the Northeast Ohio man told the I-Team.

We have agreed not to identify the Ohio great-grandparents.

The local man said he only had minor symptoms, including some coughing and a fever.

“I had a slight fever, 101 according to somebody. I’ve had good numbers since I’ve been in the hospital,” he said.

For days, he’s been in a Japanese hospital hours away from the cruise ship. Meantime, his wife remains quarantined, forced to stay in their room on the ship in case she starts to show symptoms. She also was tested days ago for the coronavirus. As of Monday morning, she had not been told any results.

That local great-grandfather, who is 83, said he’s doing much better. But still wondering about the coronavirus, and at the same time, also fighting pneumonia.

“I feel terrific. I really do. But you know, I’m confined here. Bored out of my mind.”

He said he hadn’t given much thought to being in the middle of an international health crisis.

“But I believe it. I believe it. I guess they still don’t have a cure,” he said.

He said doctors have been treating symptoms. His wife told us doctors did more tests and they are waiting for the results.

The hardest part of all of this for the husband and wife is being apart. They are not sure when they will be able to see each other again.

I am in quarantine,” she said. “It means you cannot go out, you know. You cannot go visit anybody, and they cannot come to visit you.”

The man in the hospital reacted to that by saying, “Oh, you have no idea. She’s my lifeline. She calls me as much as she can.”

Hundreds of other passengers have now left the ship to head home. Yet, no telling when that NE Ohio couple might be able to leave Japan. No end in sight for this nightmare.

“I’m pushing them on that, but they haven’t said a word,” the man said. “It’s not a fun place to be.”

Back here in Northeast Ohio, relatives are anxiously waiting for any updates. And, they are encouraged to hear their loved in the hospital is feeling better.

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