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Two passengers die after being taken off virus-hit cruise ship in Japan

Two elderly passengers taken off the Diamond Princess cruise ship because they were infected with coronavirus have died, Japan's Health Ministry said. They are the first fatalities from the virus-stricken vessel, and Japan now has three deaths linked to the Covid-19 illness. Japan's NHK public television said both were Japanese and in their 80s. A Health Ministry official only confirmed that they had been previously taken to hospital in a serious condition and had existing chronic diseases. The new virus began in China late last year and has affected tens of thousands of people, mostly in central China's Hubei province.

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