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

COVID-19: Saanich company joins nation-wide effort to produce 30,000 ventilators

StarFish Medical using a ‘purpose-driven design for rapid manufacturing,’ CEO says

Judge rejects pandemic as reason to grant bail to immunocompromised prisoner

Esquimalt man told there are more health risks for addicts on the street than there are in jail

Sidney senior welcomes outreach phone calls from charity

A long-time user of Sidney’s SHOAL Centre, praises Beacon Community Services

Canoe found in men’s public bathroom in Cadboro-Gyro Park

‘Please do not park your canoe in our bathrooms,’ say Saanich parks staff

VicPD asks for help finding owner of recovered camera

Camera contained images of a family celebrating a wedding

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

Major crimes investigating sudden death of North Okanagan child

The 8 year old was flown to Kelowna General Hospital and died hours later

Easter Bunny added to B.C.’s list of essential workers

Premier John Horgan authorizes bunny to spread “eggs-ellent cheer” throughout province

Travellers returning to B.C. must have self-isolation plan or face quarantine: Horgan

Premier John Horgan says forms must be filled out by travellers

More than 400 animals have been adopted amid pandemic: B.C. SPCA

People are taking this time of social distancing to find a loyal companion through the animal welfare group

VIDEO: More than 85 people displaced by Campbell River apartment fire

Traffic is being diverted around Dogwood Street and 9th Avenue

Thieves steal $5,000 worth of cigarettes and candy from semi trailer in Nanaimo

Culprits hit truckload in shipping company storage yard on Old Victoria Road on Monday

B.C. secures motel, hotel rooms for COVID-19 shelter space

Community centres, rooms reserved for pandemic self-isolation

Most Read