Published on Thursday, February 20, 2020

Two Diamond Princess passengers die

Two Japanese passengers who contracted the Covid-19 virus on board Diamond Princess have died.

One died from the coronavirus and the other from pneumonia. They were both in their 80s and had underlying health conditions. They were being treated in hospitals after being taken off the ship last week.

The news came as the UK Government confirmed an evacuation flight for the 74 British nationals on board the ship, which was put into quarantine in Japan two weeks ago with 3,700 people on board.

The flight will leave Tokyo tomorrow (Friday).

The Foreign Office said details have been sent to those who have already registered for the flight.

"We urge other British nationals still seeking to leave on this flight to contact us; we will continue to support British nationals who are remaining in Japan," said the FCO.

At least 621 people on the ship have tested positive for the virus.

Some passengers from other countries who tested negative have been leaving the ship this week.

Princess Cruises president Jan Swartz greeted some of them as they disembarked (see video below).

British passenger David Abel, who had campaigned for the UK Government to bring Britons home, has since tested positive, along with his wife.

In his latest Facebook update, he confirmed an English-speaking doctor had assured him that although he and Sally felt well they both had the coronavirus and were going to be taken to a hostel for a few days then transferred to a hospital once there is space.

Mr Abel said although he is unlikely to be on the rescue flight home 'he had done his job'.

Two other Brits onboard are among the 540-plus passengers and crew to have been diagnosed with the coronavirus, or COVID-19.


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