Two elderly Japanese passengers who were on board a coronavirus-hit cruise ship have died in Japan while undergoing treatment for the deadly viral infection.
Reports quoting Japan’s health minister Katsunobu Kato said both the passengers, who were in their eighties, had been sent to medical facilities last week after showing symptoms of the disease on board the Diamond Princess.
“I believe they received the best possible treatment”, Kato told reporters.
Japan’s Ministry of Health did not reveal the victims’ identity, but said they were an 87-year-old man from Kanagawa Prefecture and an 84-year-old woman from Tokyo.
In all, 624 passengers and crew in the ship have tested positive for the virus, representing the largest cluster of COVID-19 cases outside China.
They have been confined to the vessel which is in quarantine in the Japanese port city of Yokohama since February 3.
The rest of the 3,700 passengers from more than 50 countries, who tested negative for the virus, are leaving the ship in batches.
South Korea on Thursday reported the first coronavirus death in the country.
Two Iranians infected with the virus reportedly died in the city of Qom.
With this, the number of COVID-19 deaths outside China rose to 11. Casualties were also reported from France, Hong Kong, the Philippines and Taiwan.
Meanwhile, sharp drop in the number of new infections was reported in China.
According to the National Health Commission, China’s COVID-19 death toll increased to 2,118, including 114 deaths reported on Wednesday.
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