PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Forest Grove man has decided to stay on a cruise ship docked in Japan as the US government evacuated other Americans on board Sunday. The U.S. State Department sent two charter flights to bring cruise ship passengers back to the states, cutting short a 14-day quarantine on the boat in a port near Tokyo.
Kent Frasure told KOIN 6 News that he won’t be leaving the “Diamond Princess” just yet because his wife, Rebecca, is still in a Japanese hospital after she tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month.
The couple from Forest Grove was on vacation when someone on their cruise ship was diagnosed with the illness, and the virus spread throughout the ship. As of Sunday, the cruise ship had a total of 355 cases of the coronavirus. About 380 Americans were on the “Diamond Princess.”
When the virus was first discovered on the cruise, the ship was docked and the passengers put under quarantine in Yokohama harbor. Passengers and crew members had their temperatures taken and their mouths swabbed to rule out who had the illness. Unfortunately, Rebecca was among those who tested positive for the coronavirus.
A few days later, Rebecca was taken off the ship and hospitalized in Japan, while her husband Kent, whose test came back negative, stayed on board under the quarantine.
When KOIN 6 News spoke with Kent via Whatsapp last week, he said Rebecca was doing okay in the hospital and wasn’t showing any symptoms. Despite the silver lining, on Sunday, he said she has still tested positive for the virus, keeping them both overseas for a little bit longer.
The Frasures said they left on their 15-day cruise through Asia in mid-January when the coronavirus hadn’t yet become a major international issue.
Once the 340 US citizens from the “Diamond Princess” return from Japan, they will start their quarantine over and spend another two-week period at a U.S. military facility to make sure they don’t have the coronavirus.
Since the outbreak began, there have been more than 1,700 deaths, and more than 50,000 people have been infected.
This article was written with contributions from the Associated Press.
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