Japan reports first COVID-19 death to take global total to 1,710

Personel in protective gear walk towards the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked at the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, Japan, 14 February 2020. According to latest media reports, 218 passengers of the Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive for the Covid-19 coronavirus, rising the number of infections to around 250 in Japan. More than 3,500 passengers and crew are still on board. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government will allocate 10.3 billion yen (94 million US dollar) to fight the outbreak of the Covid-19 coronavirus. EPA-EFE/FRANCK ROBICHON

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Japan has announced its first death from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, taking the global total to 1,710.

Health minister Katsunobu Kato said the victim was a woman in her 80s who had been in hospital since 1 February, when she was diagnosed with pneumonia, with the COVID-19 diagnosis coming after her death.

The woman was a resident of Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo, but officials have refused to comment on Japanese media reports that she was the mother-in-law of a taxi driver who is also a confirmed case.

There have now been two deaths outside China, with the other coming in the Philippines, with the vast majority of confirmed cases and fatalities still restricted to Hubei province – the epicentre of the outbreak.

China’s Hubei province says there were 4,823 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday and 116 deaths.

This is substantially less that the 14,800 cases and 240 deaths recorded a day earlier, when officials in the region began diagnosing COVID-19, the disease which is caused by the coronavirus, using new clinical methods.

There is now a total of 64,429 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide – 63,848 of them in mainland China.

Passengers released from the MS Westerdam cruise ship in Cambodia
Passengers leave the MS Westerdam cruise ship at a seaport in Preah Sihanouk province, Cambodia, 14 February 2020. T. EPA-EFE/MAK REMISSA

Meanwhile the Cambodian government allowed the MS Westerdam cruise ship, with about 2,000 passengers and crew aboard, to dock at Preah Sihanouk port on 14 February.

The cruise ship was denied port by four countries over unsubstantiated reports that people infected with COVID-19, were on-board. Among the passenegers are two Maltese citizens.

Read more via Sky News

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