Feb 20, 2020 - Health

First Diamond Princess deaths: Coronavirus claims lives of 2 passengers

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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Coronavirus-hit cruise ship cleared to dock in Oakland, California

The Princess Cruises' Grand Princess cruise ship sits off the coast of San Francisco on Saturday. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Grand Princess cruise ship, stranded off San Francisco's coast with 21 people aboard who've tested positive for the novel coronavirus, has been cleared to dock in Oakland, California, on Monday, operator Princess Cruises said in a statement.

Details: Princess Cruises initially said in a statement early Sunday authorities had cleared it to arrive at the Port of Oakland later in the day "to begin disembarking guests who require acute medical treatment and hospitalization." But it later said after further review by state and federal authorities the docking day had changed, with a "time to be determined."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Mar 8, 2020 - Health

Princess Cruises to pause operations for 2 months due to coronavirus

The Diamond Princess. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Cruises announced Thursday that it is pausing global operations for two months due to concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, CNBC reports.

The state of play: Princess, which is owned by Carnival, is the second-largest cruise line in the world by revenue. It operates the Diamond Princess and the Grand Princess ships, which have faced quarantines in Japan and California after coronavirus outbreaks on board.

Coronavirus dampens cruise travel

The Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama port on Feb. 27. Photo: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images

Many travelers are delaying or canceling previously scheduled cruise trips, AP reports, as some ships are turned away from ports amid fear of the global coronavirus outbreak.

Context: Two elderly passengers among hundreds quarantined on the Diamond Princess cruise ship died after testing positive for the novel coronavirus, Japan's health ministry reported last week. All guests disembarked the ship on Thursday after being quarantined for weeks, the cruise line said, but roughly 500 employees remained on board as of Thursday.

Go deeperArrowFeb 28, 2020 - Health