NATIONAL: British man dies from coronavirus after being on Abels' quarantined cruise ship

The man who died was a passenger on board the Diamond PrincessThe man who died was a passenger on board the Diamond Princess
The man who died was a passenger on board the Diamond Princess | other
David and Sally still giving daily updates from Japanese hospital

A British man who was a passenger on the cruise ship where a Northampton couple were quarantined is believed to have died from coronavirus.

David and Sally Abel, from Woodford Halse near Daventry, were among 78 Brits confined on board the Diamond Princess off the coast of Japan following the outbreak in the Far East.

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Japanese Ministry of Health officials today reported a British man was the sixth passenger on the ship to have died. But UK news outlets confirmed the Abels are still recovering in hospital.

The couple were taken off the ship in Yokohama after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus last week but have continued their daily updates via social media.

Sally Abel was pronounced clear of the disease earlier this week, but medics now believe that was a false result.

David, 74, is still receiving treatment and facing more tests.

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The UK government flew 35 Britons home earlier this week after they passed screening tests while more had already been evacuated to Hong Kong.

David Abel receiving treatment after arriving in a Japanese hospital last weekDavid Abel receiving treatment after arriving in a Japanese hospital last week
David Abel receiving treatment after arriving in a Japanese hospital last week | other

Others – including the Abels – were taken to a health facility in Japan to be treated and are waiting for more tests to see if they still have the virus.

David said: "We're both positive, we have tested positive for the virus.

"This is what has been happening quite a lot in Japan, you get false results and I think the accuracy is about 70 per cent.

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"What is going to happen is that on Monday we will both be tested again and have the results on Tuesday, then probably another test on Tuesday with the results on Wednesday.

David Abel broadcast daily from the Diamond Princess after being quarantined because of the virus outbreakDavid Abel broadcast daily from the Diamond Princess after being quarantined because of the virus outbreak
David Abel broadcast daily from the Diamond Princess after being quarantined because of the virus outbreak | other

"If we are getting full negatives by then, that is going to determine what happens to us at the end of next week.

"As for now we are in hosptial and most likely will be for at least another seven days."

David Abel kept friends and family informed of life on board the quarantined ship.

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His most recent YouTube video appeared early today (Friday February 28) and yesterday the 74-year-old filmed himself dancing to the Dirty Dancing song 'I've had the time of my Life'.

Sally Abel has been cleared of having the coronavirus in a Japanese hospitalSally Abel has been cleared of having the coronavirus in a Japanese hospital
Sally Abel has been cleared of having the coronavirus in a Japanese hospital | other

More than 620 people on board the cruise ship tested positive for the virus, the largest cluster of cases outside China.

The cruise liner was carrying 3,700 people, including 78 Britons, when it was quarantined in Yokohama on February 5. A passenger who had disembarked ten days earlier in Hong Kong was found to have the virus.

In the UK, 19 cases have now been confirmed.

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