The two were among around 620 passengers of the cruise ship who had tested positive for the virus.

Two Japanese who were onboard cruise ship in Japan succumb to coronavirus
news Coronavirus Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 15:28

Two of the passengers who were onboard the quarantined cruise ship, Diamond Princess, in Japan, have succumbed to coronavirus. The two deceased, an elderly man and woman who are in their 80s – both Japanese – were among over 620 passengers of the ship who had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The two individuals had been taken to a hospital after they began showing symptoms of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). They subsequently tested positive for the virus and were being treated when they succumbed.

According to reports, the man had suffered from chronic asthma, which, officials say, contributed to the progression of the disease. The woman’s death was reportedly due to pneumonia caused by the disease.

The ship was docked in Yokohama, off Japan's coast, on February 6 and all those onboard were quarantined for a period of 14 days after it was found that one passenger was confirmed tested positive for coronavirus. A passenger who de-boarded the cruise when it was in Hong Kong earlier later tested positive for the virus. Following this, it was decided to keep individuals onboard quarantined on the ship.

This is one of the largest clusters of cases of the disease outside of China. Passengers were asked to stay in their cabins and avoid contact with others as much as possible. Officials had begun testing individuals who were onboard, several of whom showed symptoms indicative of the coronavirus disease.

Several countries have begun evacuation efforts to remove their citizens on board the ship. So far 13 people from the US and around 78 people from Britain have been evacuated.

Scores of Indians were among those who were quarantined on the ship. Of these individuals, six Indians tested positive for the virus. The Indian Embassy in Japan has been in touch with Indian crew members on board and discussions about rescue efforts have just begun. Now that the quarantine period issued by health officials has ended, the Indian government is looking to begin measures to bring the individuals back.

Earlier reports stated that following the 14-day period of isolation, countries around the world could begin undertaking disembarking their citizens. However, crew members will be quarantined for an additional 14 days prior to being allowed to leave the ship.

The disease was first identified in China’s Wuhan city in early December 2019. There is still no vaccine or cure against it, though several scientists around the globe are racing to develop a vaccine.

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