Two Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers, earlier diagnosed with the novel coronavrius, have died, Japan’s public television reported on Thursday.
According to the governmental source, the victims are a man and a woman, both older than 80 years.
"Russians are not among the deceased," the Russian embassy in Japan said.
Those are first fatalities among passengers and crew of the cruise ship, quarantined off Japan due to an outbreak on board. The 14-day quarantine ended on Wednesday and the ship’s passengers, who tested negative for novel coronavirus, started to leave it. On Wednesday, 443 passengers walked ashore, including two Russian women, TASS reports.
The second group of about 500 people is expected to leave Diamond Princess on Thursday. Nearly half of them are foreigners. At present, about 20 Russian citizens remain on board the ship.
The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases onboard the ship, which is anchored in the Japanese port city of Yokohama, is 621. One Russian is among them and has been hospitalized. His wife, who has also been sent to hospital, tested negative for the virus, but she is under medical supervision due to a high risk of infection.
Japan’s authorities have tested all passengers and crew members for coronavirus. Upon the results, they compile the lists of those who can leave the vessel - these are the persons, who have not contracted coronavirus and who have passed the two-week quarantine. Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare also reported that it had received the test results of 3,011 people from the cruise ship, which is carrying over 3,600 passengers.
The Diamond Princess cruise ship left Yokohama on January 20 and returned on February 3. Among them was a coronavirus-infected Chinese citizen who left the ship on January 25 in Hong Kong. In accordance with the decision made by the Japanese authorities, the ship was anchored near Yokohama and quarantined for two weeks since February 5.
Chinese authorities notified the World Health Organization about the outbreak of a previously unknown pneumonia in Wuhan, a densely populated city in central China, in late December 2019. The WHO declared the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a global health emergency and named the virus COVID-19. Coronavirus cases have also been reported in 25 other countries, including Russia.