Death toll from coronavirus Japan cruise ship is now four

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A fourth person has died after being taken to a hospital from a quarantined coronavirus-stricken cruise ship off Japan, local media reported on Tuesday.

Public broadcaster NHK and other local outlets said the fatality was a man in his eighties, with the Yomiuri Shimbun saying the man had tested positive for the new coronavirus and died of pneumonia.

The health minister did not immediately respond to a request to confirm the reports.

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Three others, all Japanese, have so far died after becoming sick on the ship. Two were confirmed to have the new coronavirus, while the health ministry declined to comment on whether the third person tested positive for the virus.

At least 691 people who were on board the Diamond Princess have so far tested positive for COVID-19, according to the health ministry.

Around a 1,000 people were allowed to leave the ship after it completed a 14-day quarantine if they tested negative and displayed no symptoms.

But several people who left the boat after getting the all-clear have since tested positive, and the health ministry has admitted some people were allowed to disembark despite not being tested during the quarantine.

Separately, Japan has confirmed at least 156 cases of infection with the virus, and one death.

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