Japan has confirmed its first death of a person infected with the new coronavirus in the country. Health ministry officials say the Japanese woman in her 80s was a resident of Kanagawa Prefecture, just south Tokyo.
Her son-in-law, who is a taxi driver, was also found to be infected with the virus on Thursday. Health ministry officials are trying to track the routes of the infections.
Officials say the woman fell ill on January 22 and was diagnosed with pneumonia on February 1 before being hospitalized.
They say her condition worsened on Wednesday and she was found to be infected with the virus on Thursday after she died earlier in the day. They say she had no record of overseas travel.
Her son-in-law, a taxi driver who was also confirmed to be infected with the virus, is in his 70s and a Tokyo resident.
They say he started complaining of fever on January 29 and tested positive on Thursday. They say he has not reported to work and has been staying at home since developing symptoms.
The officials quote the man as saying he had not visited the Chinese provinces of Hubei and Zhejiang in the two weeks before he exhibited symptoms. They say he also denies driving foreign customers during the two-week period.
Japanese authorities also confirmed on Thursday that two other people were infected with the virus. They are a Japanese doctor in his 50s who resides in Wakayama Prefecture, western Japan, and a man in his 20s who lives in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo.
The doctor developed symptoms, such as fever and fatigue, on January 31. He was admitted to a hospital on Monday for symptoms of pneumonia. He tested positive on Thursday.
Wakayama prefectural officials say the surgeon was seeing patients during his usual shifts from February 3 through 5. But they say he took leave of absence from February 6 to recover at home.
The hospital where he works has stopped accepting new patients and will ask all its inpatients to undergo virus tests and stay at the hospital.
The number of people infected with the virus in Japan now stands at 251, including 218 from a cruise ship quarantined at Yokohama Port near Tokyo. They also include a quarantine officer who was on board the vessel and 12 of those evacuated on government chartered-flights from the Chinese city of Wuhan.