Diabetic British man quarantined after coronavirus outbreak on cruise says he may fall into coma without food

A British man quarantined on board a cruise ship after 10 passengers tested positive for coronavirus has said he might fall into a diabetic coma if staff on board the vessel do not deliver him food.

David Abel, from Oxfordshire, is on board the Diamond Princess with his wife Sally off the coast of Japan, and said passengers would be confined to their cabins for a fortnight in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

A man was on board the ship was diagnosed with the disease on Wednesday morning but now at least 10 other passengers have been taken off the vessel after they also tested positive.

Mr Abel, who is diabetic, needs to have food in order to maintain his blood sugar levels. If they are not regulated, there is the risk he could fall into a coma and possibly die.

Speaking via videolink to ITV News correspondent John Ray, Mr Abel said passengers were no longer allowed to walk around the boat and that they must stay in their rooms for the next fortnight.

He said: "You cannot walk around. I did a few minutes ago and that's because I've got one major problem. I'm an insulin dependent diabetic and I haven't eaten a meal since 7pm last night.

"We've had no food, no drink brought to the cabin at all. No coffee, no tea, nothing."

He added: "If they don't do something about my food soon, I am literally going to go into a diabetic coma. It's a serious situation for me."

The diagnosis of the virus was announced to the ship on Wednesday morning. Credit: PA

The ship, carrying nearly 3,000 passengers, had been left in limbo in Yokohama Bay, awaiting test results after an 80-year-old passenger who left the ship in Hong Kong on January 25 tested positive for coronavirus.

Mr Abel revealed the man who is thought to have brought the coronavirus on board the cruise ship got on at Hong Kong and was on the ship for five days.

He said the infected passenger showed no symptoms while on board and that his full symptoms appeared when he got off the boat. However since him leaving the ship, 10 other passengers have contracted the virus.

It has not been revealed how the other 10 passengers have contracted the disease and no other testing measures for the other 3,000 passengers on board the ship has been announced.

Mr Abel said staff on the ship were concerned about how the disease was spreading, with one staff member telling him that all services on board the ship had stopping "because there's a possibility the virus might be spreading in the food".

Mr Abel has since posted a video on his Facebook page where saying he has had food delivered to his room.

Officials boarded the ship on Monday night and told passengers they would be running medical checks on everyone.

This took from midnight until 7pm local time to complete.

They had their temperatures taken, asked if they had a cough and if they were taking any medication to reduce their temperature.

Mr Abel added: “The positive thing in this is… our balcony is facing the sun.

“If we don’t come back with a suntan then there’s something wrong. We are allowed onto our balconies, so I think most of my day will be spent writing, researching and being absolutely lazy.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship that has been quarantined in Japan. Credit: PA

“It could be worse, we could be taken off and put into a local hospital.

“Naturally, we want to be home. We are missing our little Yorkie dogs. But two weeks, it’ll go quite quickly I hope.”

The couple arrived on the ship 15 days ago and said they visited five more ports after the man carrying the coronavirus disembarked – after his illness came to light they had to undergo more health checks to visit their final port.