It was an advance 65th birthday celebration for Abelardo (“Ding”) and his wife Marichu Torrijos when they boarded the 15-day cruise for Japan, Vietnam, Taipei and Hong Kong.
But instead of disembarking at the cruise’s end on February 4th, they were asked to stay on board.
This happened after one of the cruiseship’s elderly passengers tested positive for the novel coronavirus, now known as Covid 19.
“Quite disappointed,” sid Marichu. “but good thing I’m with my husband, we have a very good relationship, since we are together, we can do this. We have faith, we have trust, that really helps.”
Now halfway through their 14-day quarantine, more than 250 people have tested positive for the virus, out of the 3,700 passengers and crew on board.
The couple said the medical staff did interviews and separated those showing symptoms.
They have also been asked to check and report temperatures daily.
Both are aware of the increasing number of positive cases among fellow passengers quarantined in the ship.
“Meron kaming rosary..every night before we retire nagdadasal kami ng Divine Mercy, we feel good doing that. . .we are praying not just for ourselves but also for everybody tested and in the ship. Sana naman ma-contain nila as soon as possible itong nasty virus na ito.”
“We have a rosary. Every night before we retire, we pray the Divine Mercy. We feel good doing that. We are praying not just for ourselves but also for everybody tested and in the ship. I hope this nasty virus gets contained soon.”
The couple has been posting updates via Facebook for friends and family worried about them.
From food, toiletries, even medicines, they said everything has been taken care of.
But they can’t wait to be home.
“We have lots of friends who care… and life is really very precious, we may be healthy and enjoying life, but the next day it might be a different scenario..”
The cruise ship has generously offered to refund passengers all expenses related to the cruise, and has also given them an additional credit for a free cruise in the future.