75-year-old Quebec couple diagnosed with coronavirus aboard cruise

Two Quebecers aboard a cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus, their daughter confirmed Saturday morning. 

Diane and Bernard Ménard were among 3,500 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The ship has been docked at a Japanese port amid a COVID-19 quarantine since Feb. 4. 

The elderly couple, both 75, had been dealing with symptoms over the last week, daughter Chantal Ménard, told Radio-Canada Saturday morning. 

After a few days dealing with a fever and cough, they contacted the medical centre where they were tested. 

“The worst symptom was definitely weakness. Over the past two days, they were just sleeping,” Ménard said. 

The couple was in their room aboard the ship when they heard a knock on their door. A staff member passed them a letter from the doctor that said they had 30 minutes to pack their belongings and head to a hospital. 

Ménard first heard the news from her parents early Saturday morning. They video chatted with her and the rest of their family around 2:00 a.m. 

“We received the news like a bomb,” said Ménard​​​​​​. 

The couple will be treated at a military hospital in Japan, Ménard said. There, they will be placed in separate isolated chambers.

“These are elderly people, 75 years old, at the other end of the planet. They’re sick and it’s the unknown to them,” said Ménard. 

“They don’t even know how much time they’ll be in the hospital.” 

There have been 14 Canadians diagnosed with the virus on the ship so far.

On Saturday morning, 67 new cases were found on the cruise ship, bringing the total to 285 cases out of the 3,500 passengers and crew aboard the ship. 

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