A Tennessee doctor remained yesterday aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship that’s seen more than 600 passengers and crew — including his wife — test positive for the coronavirus.
Dr. Arnold Hopland, a physician from Elizabethton, has been confined to his cabin for 23 hours a day, with only the clothes on his back, after the couple’s belongings were carried away on buses Monday, when they thought they’d be evacuating along with most of the ship’s other American passengers.
But then his wife Jeanie tested positive and was transported to a Japanese hospital. Rather than return to the U.S., Dr. Hopland stayed aboard the ship, which is docked near Tokyo.
Hopland described the Diamond Princess as basically being full of the virus.
More than 300 Americans were taken off the ship and flown to the U.S. on State Department-chartered airplanes last weekend and placed in quarantine, while another 40 Americans — including Dr. Hopland — remained aboard.
The Hoplands were scheduled to be on Monday’s evacuation flight and had their suitcases already loaded on buses. But then an officer on the ship informed them that because his wife was infected, she had to stay behind.
U.S. Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., had urged officials to evacuate American citizens from the vessel during a conference call last Thursday.