The quarantined cruise ship carrying a Blue Point couple and a North Patchogue native and his newlywed wife now has had at least 135 confirmed case of coronavirus, Japan’s health ministry announced Monday.
An additional 65 people on board the Diamond Princess — which has been quarantined and harboring near Yokohama, Japan, for a week — tested positive for coronavirus Monday, the health ministry said.
At least 24 American patients are among those who have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Japan’s health ministry noted that the 135 confirmed cases are from a pool of 439 patients tested.
A large majority of the people on board have not been tested — considering that more than 3,700 passengers and crew were aboard the vessel when it floated into Japanese waters earlier this month. Most of the sick are being treated on land at area health facilities.
“We’re taking it one day at a time,” said Guy Cerullo, a member of Patchogue-Medford High School’s Class of 2010 who has essentially been on lockdown for a week in his Diamond Princess cabin with his newlywed wife Milena Basso.
“Happy to see our community is so great,” added Cerullo in a text message to GreaterSayville.com. He was reacting to the emotional support he’s receiving from friends and family.
As of early today, the Cerullos, who last week called upon President Trump for help, remained physically healthy. A middle-aged Blue Point couple is also on board, a family member confirmed last week, but the status of their health is uncertain.
Cerullo said he’s passing the time doing stretching exercises and watching TV. “We are Ok. Feel healthy at least,” he said.
Before the latest round of coronavirus cases were confirmed, the cruise ship already had the largest cluster of coronavirus cases outside of mainland China, where the virus has killed nearly 1,000 people and sickened more than 40,000 since its emergence in the city of Wuhan, in Hubei province late last year.
The Diamond Princess isunder a 14-day quarantinethat does not expire until Feb. 19. This means the Cerullos nightmarish honeymoon aboard the ship will likely sail through Valentine’s Day.
And even that date is somewhat optimistic. Health officials noted the isolation period could be extended for any passengers and crew in close contact with people newly diagnosed with the strain of coronavirus.
To ease the pain of the Diamond Princess passengers, Princess Cruises it will compensate them — some of whom face four weeks on the ship because of the quarantine — with a full refund of their trip and related travel expenses.
Guy Cerullo, who got married in November and lives with his wife in Garden City, snapped a photo of the Princess Cruises letter informing passengers of the compensation package, and posted it on Facebook.
The letter also notes that the cruise line will also give guests a future travel credit “for the cruise fare paid for this voyage.”