Coronavirus: Two passengers on quarantined cruise have died from COVID-19 #nCoV2019 #COVID19 #coronavirus #Japan #Yokohama #wuhan #china #emergency #ship #quarantine #epidemic
Two passengers who were on a coronavirus-hit cruise ship have died from COVID-19.
The victims – a Japanese man and woman in their 80s – are the first people from the Diamond Princess to lose their lives from the illness.
Both had underlying health problems and had been in hospital after being taken off the ship.
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said an evacuation flight for British passengers will leave Tokyo on Friday.
It is understood that only those without symptoms will be able to fly back to the UK.
There are 78 British nationals on the ship, four of whom have been confirmed to have COVID-19.
Once passengers have returned to the UK, they will be kept in isolation at Arrowe Park Hospital on the Wirral.
It is the same facility where 94 people who were flown back to the UK from Wuhan – the Chinese city at the epicentre of the outbreak – were quarantined.
British passengers on board the Diamond Princess have repeatedly begged authorities to bring them home, saying they feel “desperate”.
More than 620 people have tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, on the cruise liner.
The Diamond Princess has been controversially quarantined in Yokohama, off the coast of Japan, since 3 February.
On Wednesday, passengers started to disembark the ship after the two-week isolation came to an end – and another 500 are expected to leave today.
Crew members and those who had shared a room with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19 are still required to remain in quarantine.
Japanese officials have not confirmed how many people remain on board, or when everyone will be allowed to leave the cruise liner.
Some passengers from the US, Hong Kong and Australia have already returned home.
In mainland China, the number of new cases of COVID-19 has dropped.
China’s central Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 349 new confirmed cases on Thursday, down from 1,693 the previous day.
The death toll has now reached over 2,128 globally, with all but eight deaths in mainland China.
Courtesy of Sky News