Two passengers on the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship have reportedly died from coronavirus, according to Japan’s public broadcaster NHK.
The passengers were a man and a woman in their 80s, NHK said, who cited an unidentified government source.
The ship, which is berthed in Yokohama, Japan, became a hot-bed for infection – tallying up the highest concentration of the virus outside of mainland China.
As of Thursday, more than 620 of the passengers on the liner have been infected, which has been quarantined since February 3, initially with about 3,700 people on board.
Since then, selected passengers had been evacuated to complete their quarantine on land at a shore-side facility, while others began the process to be flown back to their home countries.
Six New Zealanders evacuated from the virus-stricken cruise ship will be back in the country Thursday evening.
The group were on board an Australian Government-chartered Qantas flight QF6032 to Darwin, due to land at the Whenuapai airforce base in north Auckland at 7pm, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) confirmed to Stuff.