Two central Alberta passengers stranded on a coronavirus-infected cruise ship near Tokyo have been given thermometers.
Lacombe County resident Lolita Wiesner said a couple of days ago, an additional 41 people tested positive for the virus in a round of tests conducted by the Japanese Ministry of Health on the cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan.
Among the 41 cases are five additional Canadians.
The Canadian Press reported Monday one additional Canadian was diagnosed with the virus. That brings the total to eight aboard the Diamond Princess who have contracted the new virus.
Fortunately, the central Alberta couple, Lolita and Hans, aren’t among them.
“We did get a bit of an adrenaline rush when it was announced a couple of days ago that an additional 41 people were sick. And that announcement was followed by the distribution of personal thermometers for each passenger,” Lolita said.
The passengers on the cruise ship were asked to monitor their temperature throughout the day and report back if it reaches 37.5 C.
“Since I didn’t even know what the normal body temp is in Celsius, I had to look it up. It’s 37, and I was at 36.9… Since then, my temperature has dropped. Hans’ temperature is also in the 35 to 36 C range, so we’re both feeling relaxed, though it did cause me a few hours of concern,” she explained.
“But that’s gone now,” the former Red Deer Public Library employee noted.
The first day of monitoring temperatures brought about some worry.
“The first day I took my temperature every hour for three hours and it was climbing by about .1 degree C each time, which caused me some worry as I topped out at 37.1. The doctor had to be notified at 37.5 C. So I got dressed in anticipation, but then it started to drop again, and since then, we’ve both been under 37 C,” the central Alberta wife said.
“Now, we take it about three times per day and record it should we be asked.”
The couple was able to wear masks and gloves that were provided to passengers and go out on the deck Friday and Sunday. The cruise line rules include washing your hands and face with soap and water after the short stroll, but the couple chose to not just obey the rules, but shower as well.
The Joffre-area residents are “comfortable” and pass the time on social media, watching movies and keeping busy with Sudoku and puzzles.
Lolita said the “internet has proved to be a godsend” for her these days, as that’s how she is able to pass her time.
The couple is hoping the last day for the quarantine is Feb. 19, and they can continue on with the remainder of the trip – heading to Lisbon.
The ship carrying 2,666 guests and 1,045 crew was first quarantined in Yokohama on Feb. 4 following a confirmed outbreak of the new coronavirus.
With files from The Canadian Press