Latest challenge for Tri-Cities couple in coronavirus quarantine: Lack of test supplies at Japanese hospital


TOKYO (WJHL) — A lack of testing supplies could delay a Tri-Cities woman’s release from a Tokyo hospital.

Jeanie Hopland is under observation Self-Defense Forces Central Hospital after testing positive Sunday for coronavirus, just moments before she and her husband were set to be evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship where they’d been in quarantine after an outbreak of the virus.

Mrs. Hopland tested negative for coronavirus in a follow-up test at the hospital earlier in the week. If a second test comes back negative, the Hopland’s were told Jeanie could be released. But today, Dr. Arnold Hopland told News Channel 11’s Josh Smith the second test is on hold because the hospital ran out of testing supplies.

Meanwhile, Dr. Hopland and his son Kenny Hopland appeared on CNN this morning. Arnie Hopland was interviewed by phone. Kenny Hopland was interviewed in Elizabethton. Both said concerns they raised more than a week ago have been verified – that the Japanese government’s quarantine attempts so far have not worked.

“The crew were not quarantined. And so they could spread it amongst themselves, which of course they did do. Our cabin, for instance, was infected,” Dr. Arnold Hopland said on CNN.

Wednesday, Kenny Hopland sent a letter to the United States embassy in Japan asking for help for his parents because his father remains in a mandatory quarantine on the ship, there is no assistance for his mother once she’s released from the hospital, and travel restrictions will prevent either of his parents from coming home for several weeks.

“There has been a great deal of frustration,” Kenny Hopland told CNN. “Initially when I heard of the quarantine, the obvious lack of true quarantine…. it didn’t make any sense.”

In the letter to the U.S. embassy, Kenny Hopland asked for a rapid plan to get Americans out of the country.

“Why are we still allowing American citizens to be subject to this useless time oversees under Japanese authorities,” he wrote. “They could be placed in proper isolation, receive proper testing, and truly know if they are disease-free and no risk to others in approximately 2 weeks if they could be moved to the quarantine and treatment locations in the United States.”

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