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

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

The sky above Mt. Benson in Nanaimo is illuminated by flares as search and rescuers help an injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Search and Rescue)
Search plane lights up Nanaimo’s Mt. Benson with flares during icy rope rescue

Search and rescue team gets injured hiker down the mountain to a waiting ambulance

Sofia Low, left, Delilah Maisonneuve, Madi Hickey, Alayna Black, and Maya Wilch, Departure Bay Eco-School students, will turn down the temperature and wear sweaters on Feb. 4, National Sweater Day. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo students will don sweaters next week as part of energy-saving challenge

Departure Bay Eco-School’s green energy team challenges other classes on National Sweater Day

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo’s NRGH

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All seniors in long-term care on the Island will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
UPDATE: Snowfall warning issued for Nanaimo area, up to 5 cm forecast

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Sofia Low, left, Delilah Maisonneuve, Madi Hickey, Alayna Black, and Maya Wilch, Departure Bay Eco-School students, will turn down the temperature and wear sweaters on Feb. 4, National Sweater Day. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo students will don sweaters next week as part of energy-saving challenge

Departure Bay Eco-School’s green energy team challenges other classes on National Sweater Day

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

VIU’s health and science centre. (Vancouver Island University photo)
VIU to train 72 health-care assistants to work with seniors

B.C. Ministry of Health announces details of health career access program

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Actions of Vancouver Island RCMP emergency response team members prevented a potential head-on collision accident on the Trans-Canada Highway on Jan. 19, says Nanaimo RCMP. (News Bulletin file)
Eight cars evade vehicle driving on wrong side of highway, says Nanaimo RCMP

Incident occurred near Trans-Canada Highway-Morden Road intersection earlier this week

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read