Cruise

Coronavirus: Diamond Princess passengers die, as two evacuated Aussies test positive

The coronavirus outbreak continues to wreak havoc on the travel industry, prompting the federal government to extend its travel ban for another week.

Two passengers who were diagnosed with coronavirus on board the Diamond Princess and were taken of the ship at the port of Yokohama earlier this month have died in hospital, according to Japanese public broadcaster NHK.

The passengers, a man and a woman from Japan, were both in their 80s, and both reportedly had pre-existing illnesses.

Just hours before the news of their deaths surfaced, 164 Australians who were evacuated from the Princess Cruises ship landed in Darwin to begin their 14-day quarantine period.

According to an update issued yesterday from the federal government’s chief medical officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, two of those Australians have since tested positive for COVID-19 infection.

“Both remain well and are being housed in a separate isolation unit at the village, while public health authorities from their home states organise medical evacuation for both the patients and their partners,” he said.

“Given there was continued evidence of spread of infection on board the Diamond Princess in recent days, the development of some positive cases after return to Australia is not unexpected, despite all of the health screening before departure.

“Fellow passengers and crew on the Qantas flight which returned people trapped on the Diamond Princess can be assured all measures were taken to ensure their protection.”

The cruise ship has been in quarantine since early February, with more than 620 of the 3,700 people on board having been diagnosed with coronavirus.

Following advice from health officials, the federal government has extended its coronavirus travel ban by another week until 29 February.

Featured image: iStock/DigiPubFlickr

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