National

Vic woman’s shock at ship virus diagnosis

By AAP Newswire

A Melbourne woman will spend her 21st birthday isolated in a Japanese hospital after contracting coronavirus while on cruise ship the Diamond Princess.

Bianca D'Silva, who turns 21 this weekend, said she was shocked by her diagnosis and was finding the situation surreal.

Her parents and 14-year-old brother were also taken off the boat and put in isolation pending test results.

"They rushed us off into an ambulance, we drove two hours away from the port and when we arrived at the hospital there were all these doctors and like nurses running around," she told Nine's Today program on Thursday.

"They put me in a wheelchair... and put like a plastic, almost sort of like a bubble, around it.

"It is scary. You don't know what is happening."

Her mother Suzanne fears she may have passed on the virus after falling ill when the ship was first quarantined.

But the pair say they have had one night of intense fever, then it feels like "your every day cold".

The Diamond Princess has been docked in the port of Yokohama, with more than 3700 passengers, including more than 200 Australians, stranded for a week.

Ms D'Silva's grandfather Peter Vieyra told the Herald Sun newspaper it was a "very bad" situation, and that the family had been stuck in small cabins.

"We are feeling very devastated and terribly sad also," he said.

"They are all traumatised and mentally and physically exhausted."

Authorities are yet to confirm Ms D'Silva's case, while Princess Cruises said 11 Australians on board were affected.

"We are following guidance from the Japan Ministry of Health on plans for disembarkation protocols to provide medical care for these new cases," the company said.

"Since it is early in the quarantine period of 14 days, it was not unexpected that additional cases would be reported involving individuals who were exposed prior to the start of the quarantine."

The quarantine end date remains February 19 unless there are any unforeseen developments.

Princess Cruises has confirmed all guests onboard the cruise will be refunded their fare, including air travel, hotel, ground transportation and other expenses.