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Shropshire coronavirus man says thought of facing quarantine on return to UK is 'sickening'

By Dayna Farrington | Market Drayton | Health | Published:

A Shropshire man who tested positive for coronavirus while on his honeymoon cruise has criticised the Government after being released from quarantine.

Alan Steele has spoken publicly for the first time since being released from hospital. Photo: Sky News

Alan Steele, from Little Drayton, has spoken publicly for the first time after being released following two weeks in quarantine in Japan.

The lorry driver, who has been in hospital in Tokyo while his new wife Wendy Marshall Steele stayed on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, said he had "no symptoms whatsoever".

He said that the thought of spending a further two weeks in quarantine was "sickening" and that he felt he and his fellow Brits had been "forgotten about" by the British Government.

Wendy Marshall Steele and Alan Steele moved their wedding forward to honeymoon on the Diamond Princess. Photo: Amanda Reynolds

Mr Steele was moved to hospital in Tokyo on February 6 after testing positive for the virus midway through his honeymoon cruise.

He was released from hospital earlier this week after continuing to show no symptoms and is set to fly back to the UK on Friday, where he may have to spend a further two weeks in quarantine.

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Steele said: "You have got no one to talk to. Yes you have nurses coming in and doctors coming in, but I can't talk to them, I can't have a conversation with them because they don't understand what I am saying.

"I have had no symptoms whatsoever. None.

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The quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored at a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo

"So it is unfair for me to say, I have seen the pictures, I know people are dying from it – but my personal thing, I have had no symptoms, really I am just a carrier.

"The quarantine process was a joke. The quarantine people and the crews on the ship actually spread it. I am not saying they started it but I think they exacerbated the problem.

"I know poor Boris has his hands full, he has got Brexit, the reshuffling of his cabinet and the floods, so I suppose 78 Brits what do they matter?"

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PA Graphics

When asked if he felt as if they had forgotten about him, he replied: "Oh yes. Well the Government have treated us pretty badly."

His interview comes after the Foreign Secretary revealed that the British nationals on the Diamond Princess cruise ship will be repatriated on a flight departing Tokyo on Friday.

Dominic Raab said information had been provided to those registered for the flight but he urged "other British nationals still seeking to leave to contact us".

The update comes as authorities in Tokyo said two elderly Japanese passengers taken off the ship have died from the virus.

Wendy Marshall Steele and Alan Steele pictured on their wedding day in Shropshire. Photo: Amanda Reynolds

The Brits repatriated from the Diamond Princess will be quarantined at accommodation at Arrowe Park on the Wirral on their return, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said.

When asked by Sky News about the prospect of being quarantined on his return to the UK, Mr Steele said: "Pretty sickening, I'll be honest. Why the hell would I get back to England after we know I have had it, my body has cured it, so why have I got to sit in 14 day quarantine."

The flight bringing home Diamond Princess passengers from Tokyo will leave on Friday evening Japanese time. It is believed the flight will land at MoD Boscombe Down.

Meanwhile two Staffordshire Police officers and one PCSO have been sent home after a woman in custody was tested for coronavirus, although health officials believe it is "highly unlikely" the suspect had the virus.

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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