Coronavirus sufferer Alan Steele in fresh hope over hospital release

Shropshire honeymooner Alan Steele is hopeful he will be released from hospital on Friday after testing positive for coronavirus.

Alan and Wendy on their wedding day in January. Picture by Amanda Reynolds
Alan and Wendy on their wedding day in January. Picture by Amanda Reynolds

Lorry driver Mr Steele, from Little Drayton, was enjoying a cruise around Japan with his new wife Wendy when he was quarantined and moved to hospital.

But he has yet to display any symptoms since being taken into hospital care last week.

His wife is still on board the cruise ship Diamond Princess in the port of Yokahama.

The Diamond Princess cruise ship remains anchored off Yokohama Port with dozens of people in quarantine

In an update on his Facebook page today, Mr Steele, said: "The doctor has given me the set plan of action for my discharge and as long as I pass the tests I will be free on Friday.

"It would have been Thursday but Japan is on holiday tomorrow so no-one to do the test results.

"I heard bad news on more cases on ship but possible good news is all will now be tested so if you're free of virus they should let you go."

Members of the Japan Self Defence Forces prepare a supply truck to link up with the cruise ship Diamond Princess

Over the weekend he told friends and family he was "still healthy" and "couldn't wait" to get out of hospital and back home to his family.

Mr Steele married in January in Little Drayton, Shropshire, where he is originally from and moved to Tettenhall, in Wolverhampton, where Wendy lives.

He was due to start a new job on Monday but has been stranded abroad in quarantine.

Alan Steele's profile photo. Photo: Alan Steele/Facebook

Princess Cruises said 41 people, including Mr Steele, had tested positive for the virus on the Diamond Princess – but that number has now increased.

It is believed there are 78 people with British passports, including crew, on the ship.

It came as the Government declared coronavirus a “serious and imminent threat to public health” as it introduced new powers to deal with the spread of the virus.

Under new measures announced today, the Department of Health said people with coronavirus can now be forcibly quarantined and will not be free to leave, and can be forcibly sent into isolation if they pose a threat to public health.

A spokesman said: “Our infection control procedures are world leading and the NHS is well prepared to deal with novel coronavirus.

Coronavirus: confirmed cases
(PA Graphics)

“We are strengthening our regulations so we can keep individuals in supported isolation for their own safety and if public health professionals consider they may be at risk of spreading the virus to other members of the public.

“This measure will rightly make it easier for health professionals to help keep people safe across the country.”

It comes after a British man who caught coronavirus in Singapore appears to be linked to at least seven other confirmed cases in England, France and Spain.

Health officials are not confirming a link or giving detail on his relationship to the other people diagnosed with the illness, but he is reported to be a middle-aged British man and is understood to have been the first UK national to contract the disease.

There are now four confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK, with this man having been the third to test positive.

Information on the Department of Health website says Health Secretary Matt Hancock has introduced the new powers in light of the “public health emergency” from coronavirus originating in Wuhan in China.

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