Feb 20, 2020 - Health

First Diamond Princess deaths: Coronavirus claims lives of 2 passengers

A bus carrying passengers who disembarked from the Diamond Princess cruise ship leaves the Daikoku Pier Cruise Terminal in Yokohama on February 20
A bus carrying passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship leaves the cruise terminal in Yokohama, Japan on Thursday morning. Photo: Kazuhiro/AFP via Getty Images

Two elderly passengers from the Diamond Princess cruise ship have died of the novel coronavirus, Japan's health ministry confirmed Thursday.

Why it matters: These are the first deaths among the 600-plus people who have been infected aboard the vessel.

  • The deaths come after the CDC raised concerns Tuesday that "there may be additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 among the remaining passengers on board the Diamond Princess."
  • Hundreds of people have already left the ship, with hundreds more expected to leave in the coming days.

By the numbers: 621 people among some 3,700 passengers and crew members have been infected with the virus aboard the vessel, quarantined at Yokohama, Japan.

  • 100-plus American passengers in Japan face a two-week travel ban as a health precaution, the CDC said.

The big picture: The outbreak on the ship began after a guest from Hong Kong sailed from Yokohama on Jan. 20 before disembarking back home on Jan. 25, Princess Cruises said. He showed no symptoms aboard the ship, but tested positive for coronavirus in a Hong Kong hospital six days later.

Go deeper: Diamond Princess exodus begins as CDC raises health concerns

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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