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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.

Go deeper

DOJ watchdog to probe whether officials sought to alter election results

Former President Donald Trump and former First Lady Melania Trump exit Air Force One in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Jan. 20. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images

The Justice Department's inspector general will investigate whether any current or former DOJ officials "engaged in an improper attempt to have DOJ seek to alter the outcome" of the 2020 election, the agency announced Monday.

Driving the news: The investigation comes in the wake of a New York Times report that alleged that Jeffrey Clark, the head of DOJ's civil division, had plotted with President Trump to oust acting Attorney General Jeffery Rosen in a scheme to overturn the election results in Georgia.

1 hour ago - Podcasts

Google's chief health officer Karen DeSalvo on vaccinating America

Google on Monday became the latest Big Tech company to get involved with COVID-19 vaccinations. Not just by doing things like incorporating vaccination sites into its maps, but by helping to turn some of its offices and parking lots into vaccination sites.

Axios Re:Cap goes deeper into what Google is doing, and why now, with Dr. Karen DeSalvo, Google's chief health officer who previously worked at HHS and as health commissioner for New Orleans.

Biden signs order overturning Trump's transgender military ban

Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

President Biden signed an executive order on Monday overturning the Trump administration's ban on transgender Americans serving in the military.

Why it matters: The ban, which allowed the military to bar openly transgender recruits and discharge people for not living as their sex assigned at birth, affected up to 15,000 service members, according to tallies from the National Center for Transgender Equality and Transgender American Veterans Association.