Local couple stranded on cruise ship overseas after dozens of passengers get sick with coronavirus

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CLEVELAND (WJW) -- The I-TEAM has learned two people from Northeast Ohio are among thousands of passengers stranded on a cruise ship off the coast of Japan due to the coronavirus.

The local couple took a luxury cruise through Asia aboard the Diamond Princess.

But that ship isn’t going anywhere, right now. Princess Cruises said 41 passengers have tested positive for the coronavirus.

In messages back to loved ones 30 miles outside of Cleveland, the local travelers wrote, “We are quarantined. 41 more people taken off the boat. Ship is ordering 14 days of supplies.”

The pair did not want to be identified, but their daughter spoke to the I-TEAM.

“So we do worry. Panic is not good in any situation. But we’re concerned, for sure," she said. “Sounded like it would be a couple days as they screened all the passengers. But it very quickly became a major thing.”

On board, 2,500 passengers have been quarantined, mostly stuck in their rooms.

"They are allowing people in small groups, It’s tightly controlled to go up to the top deck for short periods of time. They have to wear a mask," said the daughter.

It's unclear when they might be able to fly back to Cleveland. In fact, even after they get off the ship, there’s no telling what kind of screening they may have to go through before returning to the U.S.

Princess Cruises said it hopes the quarantine will end around February 19. Meanwhile, the cruise line is offering free internet and phone service to passengers and more. That includes games, puzzles, and extra TV channels to help people pass the time.

“I thank God we are well…warm…fed…and entertained and able to keep in touch with our loved ones," the couple noted in their messages.

Read more on the coronavirus here. 

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