Visitors walk past the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, near Tokyo, on February 16, 2020. The daughter of a Quebec couple who contracted the novel coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan says her parents can come home after testing negative for the virus. Chantal Menard says she learned early this morning that her mother was being discharged from hospital after a second test confirmed she no longer had the illness. Her father tested negative last Wednesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jae C. Hong

Quebec couple who got coronavirus on cruise ship to come home, daughter says

Diane and Bernard Menard, in their 70s, were among the more than 700 who contracted COVID-19 aboard the ship

A Quebec couple who contracted the novel coronavirus aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in Japan will soon be on their way home after testing negative for the virus, their daughter said Sunday.

Chantal Menard said she learned early in the morning that her mother was being discharged from hospital after a second test confirmed she no longer had the illness. Her father tested negative last Wednesday.

Diane and Bernard Menard, who are in their 70s, were among the more than 700 people who contracted COVID-19 aboard the ship, which has been docked in Yokohama since early February.

Their daughter said the news was welcome after weeks of worry and frantic calls to consular officials.

“We’re very happy because at one moment we lost hope, but you can’t ever lose hope,” she said in a phone interview.

Menard said her parents were on the last day of their month-long tour of Asia when they learned the boat was under quarantine.

The couple from Gatineau, Que. tested positive in mid-February and were transported to a Japanese military hospital with symptoms including coughing and fever.

Menard said the couple will spend the next day or two in a hotel while the family organizes their trip home, but she hopes they’ll be back in Canada by Friday.

She said it’s unclear whether they’ll have to face another quarantine when they return, on top of the two they’ve already done in Japan. If so, she believes it will be at home.

“For sure we’ll go to the house to look at them through the curtains,” she said with a laugh. “We’ll set ourselves up on the outdoor patio and do a simultaneous toast.”

She says consular services and and the Canadian Red Cross have been helping the family.

Despite the family’s happiness, Menard said she still worries about other Canadians from the ship who remain in Japan.

“I hope it will send them a message of hope,” she said.

READ MORE: B.C. confirms 8th case of COVID-19

READ MORE: U.S. drugmaker readies possible coronavirus vaccine for testing

Helen Moka, The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vehicle parades celebrate birthdays, recognize workers on COVID-19 front lines

Melissa Young started the parades in Cranbrook as a way to mark her son’s 12th birthday

City of Cranbrook seeks public cooperation with provincial COVID-19 mandates

City Bylaw will be monitoring, educating public around orders set by the province

COVID-19: Interior Health orders closure of all fitness centres until May 30

The order is subject to revision, cancellation, or extension

Nelson product commits to Cranbrook Bucks

Noah Quinn will make the jump to Jr. A next year with the BCHL’s newest franchise

MP Morrison ‘disappointed’ in six-week delay for wage subsidy support

Kootenay-Columbia MP says small businesses and employees need financial help now

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

General exposure to public low after inmate tests positive for COVID-19: Interior Health

The Okanagan Correctional Centre inmate is receiving appropriate care

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Black Press Media ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Businesses advised to prepare for federal, B.C. COVID-19 assistance

Canada Revenue Agency portal expected to open next week

Most Read