YOKOHAMA, Japan, Feb. 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Phil and Gay Courter are in their fourth day of quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess and are continuing to request removal of all passengers to appropriate facilities or allow medical evacuation. The Diamond Princess is the site of the largest outbreak of the novel coronavirus outside of China (with 70 cases reported as of Sunday morning).

Officials continue to prevent passengers from disembarking but there is concern that:

  • The ship’s ventilation system is not designed to prevent transmission of the coronavirus.
  • The crew members (responsible for distributing meals to passengers in their quarters) are not trained in quarantine procedures and may also be incubating the virus.
  • Lack of appropriate sanitation may create other issues onboard.

The Courters are currently in good health but are increasingly worried about the future. “We are talking about our mortality and what our chances are of getting the virus,” said Gay Courter. “Our biggest fear right now, besides getting sick, is that we will be separated if one of us gets ill.” 

The Courters can see ambulances waiting at the port but have no idea how many new cases have been officially reported and are concerned they are not being told everything. Captain Arma, whose leadership the Courters deeply admire, announced that the ambulances are not for new cases of the virus, but for other medical problems.  Later, they learned there were six additional cases evacuated in addition to those with “unrelated illnesses.”

About Phil and Gay Courter - Gay Courter, 75, a best-selling novelist, and Phil Courter, 77, an award-winning documentary filmmaker, are currently quarantined about the Diamond Princess off the coast of Yokohama. Their balcony is positioned with a full view of the medical evacuations.

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Media credit: Phil Courter

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