Two people have died who were aboard the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked near Tokyo. They had been hospitalized and tested positive last week for the new coronavirus.
Both patients were Japanese. One was an 87-year-old man who had bronchial asthma. The other was an 84-year-old woman. She didn't have any pre-existing conditions. Officials say both had a fever and developed pneumonia.
During a press conference, a health ministry official was asked whether keeping elderly passengers on the cruise ship increased their risk of getting infected. Here's what he had to say.
Masami Sakoi said, " We believe we handled the situation appropriately. We transferred the two passengers to hospitals as soon as we learned they had a fever. That was before we even had their test results."
The death toll of people infected with the virus in Japan now stands at three. Last week a woman in her 80s died in Kanagawa Prefecture, which borders Tokyo.