File photo of Diamond Princess
File photo of Diamond PrincessPaul Nordmann/Princess Cruises

2 die after contracting COVID-19 on cruise ship quarantined in Japan

Tokyo, February 20, 2020

Two people, who were hospitalised after being diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) while on board a cruise ship quarantined in Japan earlier this month, have died, state media reported Thursday, taking the overall toll in the country from the disease to three.

The two passengers, who were aboard the Diamond Princess before being removed to a hospital, were a man and a woman in their 80s, Efe news quoted public broadcaster NHK as saying in a report.

Their identities were not revealed, though they said both were Japanese.

The two persons had been admitted to hospital after testing positive for COVID-19. One was evacuated on February 11 from the ship and the other the next day.

The cruise ship was quarantined on February 3 in the Japanese port of Yokohama with 3,700 people on board. It has since been discovered that about 600 passengers or crew have been infected with the coronavirus.

One other person had died in Japan on February 13 due to COVID-19 in Kanagawa prefecture, south of Tokyo.

According to the last official figures, 621 people aboard the Diamond Princess contracted the virus through a passenger who disembarked in Hong Kong before the ship arrived in Japan.

Medical teams performed 3,011 tests on the cruise until Wednesday.

Outside the cruise ship, approximately 80 people in Japan have tested positive.

Hundreds left the cruise on Wednesday at the end of the quarantine period set by authorities, and the rest were expected to do so between Thursday and Friday.


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