A HUSBAND and wife from near Banbury who have been stranded on a cruise ship have tested positive for coronavirus.

David and Sally Abel have given regular updates about conditions on board the Diamond Princess, which has been quarantined off Japan since February 3.

This was done after a passenger who got off in Hong Kong tested positive for the deadly virus.

In the latest vlog posted by the couple before the news, Mr Abel said: "We are okay.

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"Anxious as ever and the thing that is increasing the level of anxiety is just not knowing.

"The results were to be in two ro three days, we've now exceeded the three days. This is not implying we must be positive, it's anything but."

However, just hours later Mr Abel confirmed the results via Facebook, writing: "There is going to be a time of quiet. We have been proved positive and leaving for hospital soon. Blessings all xxx."

It comes as the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has said it is 'working to organise' a flight back to the UK for British nationals on board the cruise ship

The department has faced pressure to fly home the 74 Britons on the Diamond Princess after the US chartered two planes and repatriated 340 of its citizens.

A statement said: "Given the conditions on board, we are working to organise a flight back to the UK for British nationals on the Diamond Princess as soon as possible.

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"Our staff are contacting British nationals on board to make the necessary arrangements. We urge all those who have not yet responded to get in touch immediately."

Earlier, a Number 10 spokesman said those on board the ship docked near Yokohama, Japan, were being contacted about the possibility of a repatriation flight.

On Monday, the Japanese Health Ministry confirmed 99 more people on board have been diagnosed with the illness, bringing the total to 454.

The death toll in mainland China rose by 98 to 1,868, in figures announced early this morning, while the number of people infected globally stands at 72,436, according to the country's National Health Commission.