Two former passengers on the coronavirus-wracked Diamond Princess have died, local media reported Thursday, as fears mount about those leaving the ship after testing negative for the disease.
The pair are a man and a woman in their 80s, said public broadcaster NHK and others, the first fatal cases among the more than 600 onboard the cruise ship.
Both had underlying conditions and were taken off the ship on February 11 and 12 before being treated in hospital, NHK said.
Health Minister Katsunobu Kato offered partial confirmation but said he had to wait until families had been informed before making it official.
“I pray for their souls and offer condolences to their bereaved families,” he told.meanwhile The two were sent to medical facilities when they showed symptoms. I believe that they received the best possible treatment,” he said.
The huge vessel moored in Yokohama near Tokyo is easily the biggest coronavirus cluster outside the Chinese epicentre, with 621 positive cases confirmed among the passengers and crew.
On Wednesday, 443 passengers disembarked after testing negative for the COVID-19 virus and not showing symptoms during a 14-day quarantine period. The complete removal of the passengers was expected to take at least three days.
More passengers left the ship on Thursday, packing into yellow buses and leaving for stations and airports for home.One more Indian aboard a quarantined cruise ship off Japan .More than 400 passengers on the coronavirus-hit cruise ship Diamond Princess disembarked Wednesday in Yokohama after a two-week quarantine period.
A large portion of the hundreds of coronavirus infections on the Diamond Princess cruise ship occurred before Japan asked all passengers and crew to stay inside their cabins for a two-week quarantine, a research institute said Wednesday.
Kentaro Iwata, a professor of infectious diseases at Kobe University Hospital, who inspected the situation on board on Feb. 18, criticized the circumstances on the Diamond Princess through videos on YouTube.