'I'm Not Scared': Coronavirus Patient Calls Out Global 'Overreaction' To Virus Outbreak
A woman who tested positive to the new coronavirus while onboard a cruise ship off Japan, claims the global response to the outbreak has been an 'overreaction', despite being monitored in hospital.
Earlier this month, American couple Rebecca Frasure and her husband Kent were quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship when she tested positive to the Covid-19 virus.
Frasure was taken to a hospital in Tokyo, while her husband -- who tested negative -- stayed on board.
Speaking to Studio 10 via Skype from her hospital bed on Friday, the woman claimed she had no symptoms except for "a slight cough and a little bit of a fever".
"I was definitely surprised," she said.
"[There was] maybe the slightest bit of fear. But because I didn’t feel sick, it was just like, ‘ I guess I have this. Maybe it’s a false positive. I don’t know.’ So I just went with the team to hospital to get checked out."
Frasure has remained in isolation in hospital ever since.
"I'm just waiting on getting some test results back to clear me and show them that the disease has left my body," she said.
As of Friday, there have been 82,760 confirmed cases of Covid-19 globally, including 60 in the U.S. and 23 in Australia.
The federal department of health has stated 15 of those Australians had been in Wuhan City, the Chinese epicentre of the outbreak, and eight were passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
There have been 2,856 deaths, mainly in mainland China.
The outbreak has reached a "decisive point", the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday night, urging countries to redouble efforts to contain the spread amid fears it could soon become a pandemic.
According to the WHO, a pandemic is declared when a new disease -- for which people do not have immunity -- spreads around the world beyond expectations.
"The virus has pandemic potential," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
"This is not a time for fear. This is a time for taking action to prevent infection and save lives now."
The Australian government has already activated the next phase of its response to the virus outbreak, despite WHO not yet declaring it a global pandemic.
"While the World Health Organisation is yet to declare the nature of the coronavirus and its move towards a pandemic phase, we believe the risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us and as a result, as a government, we need to take the steps necessary to prepare for such a pandemic," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday.
But Frasure claimed the global response has felt like an "overreaction".
"When this all first broke out, I remember seeing news stories on the ship ... and it was definitely like, 'oh my gosh, this is a big deal'. There are so many cases every day that we hear about," she said.
"But really, it's just the latest and greatest.
I hate to say that and minimise it, because you do still need to be aware and practice good hygiene and wash your hands, and if you feel sick, then stay at home.
"But I don’t think it’s any more deadly or serious than anything else we have encountered thus far."
Frasure's husband remains in a Tokyo hotel after disembarking the ship last weekend. The cruise line on Thursday confirmed it has officially disembarked all guests.
Frasure said her husband is now required to measure his temperature twice a day and submit the results to the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if there is a foreseeable risk of infection.
Meanwhile, she is just waiting to return home.
"My family is very worried. They pray every day that I’ll test negative and can be released and come home," she said.