Coronavirus: Two passengers dead from quarantined Diamond Princess

Two Japanese passengers who contracted the new coronavirus on board a cruise ship quarantined in Japan have died, officials say.

Both were in their 80s with underlying health conditions. They were being treated in hospitals after being taken off the Diamond Princess last week.

At least 621 people on the ship tested positive for the virus, named Covid-19, the biggest cluster outside China.

The coronavirus, which originated in China’s Hubei province last year, causes pneumonia-like symptoms.

Overall, there have now been 2,118 deaths and nearly 75,000 confirmed infections recorded in mainland China.

On Thursday, South Korea confirmed its first coronavirus death. Japan’s neighbour also reported a sharp rise in virus cases, most of them from a newly identified cluster at a large religious community.

The victims were an 87-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman, Japan’s health ministry said.

The man – from Kanagawa prefecture south of Tokyo – had had bronchial asthma and died from Covid-19.

The woman – from the capital – died from pneumonia believed to be caused by the coronavirus.

The victims have not been publicly named.

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