Northamptonshire couple "smelling a rat" in shock statement after being told they had coronavirus

David and Sally Abel say: 'We're going to a hostel, NOT a hospital"

David and Sally Abel are quarantined on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
David and Sally Abel are quarantined on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

A Northamptonshire couple fear they can smell a "a very big rat" after being told they were on their way to a hostel instead of a hospital following their positive tests for coronavirus.

David Abel said he and wife Sally, from Woodford Halse near Daventry, were waiting to be taken to a Japanese medical centre after two weeks quarantined on a cruise ship.

But an hour later, Mr Abel added a second Facebook post saying the couple were being taken to a hostel with no wifi and no mobile phone signal.

And he admitted having doubts about whether the couple's test really was a positive one.

Mr Abel, 74, posted: "Frankly, I think this is a setup! We are NOT being taken to a hospital but a hostel. No phone, no wi-fi and no medical facilities. I really am smelling a very big rat here!"

And when asked if he was sure the couple's tests were positive, Mr Abel replied: "I doubt it was positive. If it was we would be in hospital."

The Abels' son Steve revealed he heard the news from his mum and dad in an email at 5.30am on Tuesday (February 18).

David Abel's latest Facebook post at around 7.30am on Tuesday morning

He told BBC Breakfast: "I knew they had been tested three or four days ago and we've been waiting for the results.

"Those results came in about 5.30am UK time today. I got an email from dad saying that both he and mum tested positive and were going to a hospital.

At least this way they are together.

"But I've now seen they are going to hostel, so no one knows what's going on really."

Foreign Office officials have been under pressure to take action to bring the British couple home since 3,700 passengers and staff on the Diamond Princess were quarantined following an outbreak of the Covid-19 virus two weeks ago.

And Steve Abel admitted the strain of being on board the vessel for so long was starting to show in his parents -- particularly for dad David who is battling a tooth infection and is diabetic.

He said: "They are very high-spirited people and people have been sending wonderful messages.

"But in the last two days I've seen some cracks in the armour. Mum has burst into tears frequently when we call her and my dad's become a bit short-tempered and that's down to the situation they're in.

"They're not getting any communication from this country so they're in the dark and feeling very unloved.

"I've also been more worried about the infection and his diabetes than the disease. According to stats, recovery from coronavirus is quite successful. I'm more concerned that he's not getting proper treatment and the diet is not suitable for him.

"I just want the Government to bring them home. Nobody is communicating with us the Foreign Office has my number and we've been calling them every day of the last five days but they're not calling us back."