AN IRISH COUPLE are trapped aboard a cruise ship after ten fellow passenger tested positive for the deadly coronavirus.
The husband and wife from Co. Meath - who wish to remain anonymous - spoke with Extra.ie saying they've been told to remain in their cabins for two weeks while the ship is held in quarantine.
The woman said that her and her husband are feeling fine but admits the situation is "very stressful".
"We're being brought food, we're being brought water. The cleaner called around and we had to bring our bin to the door, he had a bag and was wearing a mask," she said.
They're currently moored off the coast of Japan, having been denied entry to Yokohama harbour following confirmation of a viral outbreak on board.
The couple boarded the ship on January 20 for a two-week trip, and had been due to disembark on Tuesday, but now face the prospect of spending another fortnight in their cabin.
The quarantine was introduced after a Hong Kong man, who got on board in Yokohama, on the same day as the Meath couple, and disembarked in Hong Kong on January 25, later tested positive for the virus.
Reportedly, none of the ten people who tested positive - three from Japan, three from Hong Kong, two Australians, one American and one Filipino crew member - have been suffering severe symptoms.
According to the Irish couple, everyone on board the ship had their temperature taken and had to fill out a questionnaire to determine if any of them were showing signs of the virus.
"They came to our room, two really nice, very apologetic quarantine officials. They took our temperatures, they went through the form with us. We were cleared, our temperature was fine, no cough or any other symptoms. They didn’t actually finish it until around 8pm or 9pm on Tuesday," she said.
She added that they'd been in touch with the Irish embassy in Japan about the situation and confirmed that they were providing consular assistance, though it's still unclear exactly when they'll be allowed off the ship.
In the meantime, the only thing left to do is wait, and try to stay healthy.
"They have given us free internet, free phone calls in the room, and they are giving us information as they can. Obviously, we would like more but it is outside their control," the woman added.