Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Coronavirus: More than 140 Brits stranded on cruise ship off California coast
5 March 2020, 23:47
A group of 142 UK nationals have been stranded on a second coronavirus-stricken Princess cruise ship off the coast of California.
Tests are being carried out on the guests and crew on board the vessel after a passenger on an earlier voyage died from Covid-19 and another became infected.
The cruise operator confirmed 142 Brits - of which 121 are passengers and 21 are crew - are on board the Grand Princess, which is carrying a total of 3,553 people.
Princess Cruises said there had been no further confirmed cases of coronavirus and that fewer than 100 people currently stranded on the ship had been identified for testing.
"Public health officials have advised that no guests will be permitted to disembark until all results have been received," the cruise operator said.
"Out of an abundance of caution, all guests who have been identified for testing have been asked to remain in their staterooms."
Last week, Japan's health ministry confirmed that a UK national who had been on one of the firm's other vessels, the Diamond Princess, which had been quarantined in Yokohama, had died after contracting the disease.
On Thursday, an elderly patient became the first person in the UK to die of coronavirus as cases surged above 100 for the first time.
In a statement, Royal Berkshire NHS Trust said: "Sadly, we can confirm that an older patient with underlying health conditions has died.
"The patient has previously been in and out of hospital for non-coronavirus reasons but on this occasion was admitted and last night tested positive for coronavirus.
"The family has been informed and our thoughts are with them at this difficult time."
"We will not be commenting further and ask that everybody respects the family’s privacy."
The news came just hours after the Department of Health confirmed 116 people in the UK have tested positive for the disease.