THIS is the wedding day picture of a British honeymooner who is among 41 new victims of the deadly coronavirus stranded on board a plague ship moored off Japan.
Alan Steele – along with eight Americans, 21 Japanese, five Australians, five Canadians, and an Argentinian – revealed he had been struck down by the killer bug.
Read our coronavirus live blog for all the latest news and updates
The 58-year-old Wolverhampton man said although he wasn’t showing any symptoms he is being taken to a hospital on the mainland.
Mr Steele, whose new wife Wendy hasn’t tested positive for the killer bug, told family and friends about his hellish ordeal on Facebook.
He wrote: “Just to let you all know I have been diagnosed as having the virus and am being shipped to hospital.
“Would also like to say that at the moment I am not showing any symptoms so just possible a carrier. Will let you know how I am going on when possible.”
Meanwhile, the Mrs Steele, who is a nurse, said she was “in ribbons” at being separated from her new husband.
She wrote: “They have just taken Alan away. I am in ribbons. He is healthy and not displaying any symptoms.
“I am bereft. If he ends up being ill I can’t look after him. Not only as a wife… but as a nurse.”
Replying to a friend, she said she was trying to keep up “the British stiff up a lip and use our sense of humour.
“On the plus side after this our marriage will survive anything.”
All the new stricken passengers range in age from their 20s to 80s, and will be taken to medical facilities in Tokyo and others in central Japan.
One American passenger chillingly told a journalist she was ‘scared… I don’t want to leave this ship in a box.’
The new cases bring the total number of sufferers confirmed on the quarantined ship to 61, which now includes two UK citizens.
Holidaymaker David Abel, among the 78 Brits on the Diamond Princess cruise, had made friends with Mt Steele on the cruise.
On a Facebook video posted today, he said: “One of the disconcerting things, one of the people we have been dining with… has been proved positive for the virus and he will be most certainly leaving the ship today.
“Real, real shame. Now, I have no idea how he must be feeling.
“He will be going off into quarantine in a medical facility and she has to stay on board the ship because she is not displaying symptoms.
“That’s going to be really tough for him,” he added.
News the number of those infected has TREBLED was confirmed as the medical screening of passengers and crew continues.
The huge leap also comes amid fears among its 3,700 passengers that they are being kept in the dark about the full extent of the crisis.
Mr Abel, of Woodford Halse, Northamptonshire, revealed the growing frustration about the lack of information provided to guests.
He said: “My major concern now is to let the captain and the crew know, that we want to be informed of what is going on.
“We don’t want second-hand news, we don’t want rumours, we want to know precisely what is going on.”
He revealed he had been given and thermometers, masks and gloves to prevent the infection spreading.
Abel previously revealed on social media the ship was running out of food, describing it as a “floating prison.”
Ashley Rhodes-Courter, an American whose parents are on board, said she hoped US officials would be able to help her parents leave the boat.
“They are all breathing circulated contaminated air so they could be getting everyone infected,” she told Reuters.
She voiced her concerns after a Japanese woman raised a flag over her cabin’s balcony with a chilling message which read ‘shortage of medicine’.
And many stranded on the ship are demanding to be let off even crying out for help over fears they will be next to be struck down.
An Australian crew member told news.com.au that people on board were informed on February 3 that a past guest had been diagnosed with the virus but the ship wasn’t put on lockdown until the following day.
He said everyone has been totally confined to their rooms, apart from the crew who eat together in the mess hall.
“This is part of the problem, as far as I know the crew have not been properly tested. Just a temperature check three days ago,” he said.
“This is the same crew that prepare all the food and clean all the cabins so I’m finding it hard to trust the food we’re served.”
He said one of the most unnerving things about the situation is how quiet the ship is.
“I’ve been on ships a few times and it’s always busting with people. There are no sounds from outside my cabin, it’s eerie,” he said.
Japanese Health Minister Katsunobu Kato said: “As the people were staying together for a certain period in a closed environment, their contact was repeated.
“We will make it top priority to check the health of passengers and crew of the cruise ship and take thorough measures to prevent infections.”
Japanese authorities have tested 273 people on board the Diamond Princess, which was quarantined after a former passenger, who disembarked in Hong Kong last month, tested positive for the virus.
“The results of the remaining 171 tests came out and 41 tested positive,” Kato told reporters.
“Today they will be sent to hospitals in several prefectures, and we are now preparing for that.
“In total, out of 273 specimens, 61 tested positive,” Kato added.
He confirmed the two-week quarantine period through February 19 will not be affected by the latest reported infections.
The news comes after a third person – thought to be the first British national – tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.
The patient was diagnosed after falling ill in Brighton and has been transferred to a specialist isolation unit at Guy’s Hospital in London.
Just days earlier, two Chinese nationals were confirmed to have the deadly virus in York – sparking fears the deadly virus was spreading.
UK officials are now “ratcheting up” health advice to cover travellers from seven more countries outside China – Singapore, Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Macau and Hong Kong.
Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer of the NHS, also confirmed that doctors will now begin testing anyone showing signs of the illness, if they have recently travelled from Asia to the UK.
Meanwhile, the Diamond Princess – a ship owned by British-American firm Carnival Corp — remains docked at Yokohama Port since February 3 in quarantine.
The health checks began on Monday evening after an 80-year-old Hong Kong man who sailed on the vessel last month tested positive for the killer bug – which originated from a food market in Wuhan, China.
Currently, the global death toll stands at 636 with more than 31,000 people infected across 28 countries and territories.
A majority of the cases — 24,363 — have been confirmed in China.
Public Health England revealed, as of 5 February, a total of 566 UK tests have been carried out – 563 were confirmed negative and three positive.
More than 90 Brits who were evacuated from Wuham are currently in quarantine in Arrowe Park Hospital in Merseyside.
All UK hospitals have been told to prepare secure coronavirus zones to “avoid a surge” in emergency departments.
But York Central MP Rachel Maskell has hit out at the lack of communication from health authorities about the coronavirus outbreak.
She said of the latest suspected case: “It is crucial that the public are kept informed of developments associated with the Coronavirus infection.
“I have raised this twice in the House of Commons this week and am awaiting a further meeting with the Minister.”
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?