Japan has announced its first death from the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, taking the global total to 1,710.
Health minister Katsunobu Kato said the victim was a woman in her 80s who had been in hospital since 1 February, when she was diagnosed with pneumonia, with the COVID-19 diagnosis coming after her death.
The woman was a resident of Kanagawa prefecture near Tokyo, but officials have refused to comment on Japanese media reports that she was the mother-in-law of a taxi driver who is also a confirmed case.
There have now been two deaths outside China, with the other coming in the Philippines, with the vast majority of confirmed cases and fatalities still restricted to Hubei province – the epicentre of the outbreak.
China’s Hubei province says there were 4,823 new cases of the coronavirus on Thursday and 116 deaths.
This is substantially less that the 14,800 cases and 240 deaths recorded a day earlier, when officials in the region began diagnosing COVID-19, the disease which is caused by the coronavirus, using new clinical methods.
There is now a total of 64,429 confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide – 63,848 of them in mainland China.
Meanwhile the Cambodian government allowed the MS Westerdam cruise ship, with about 2,000 passengers and crew aboard, to dock at Preah Sihanouk port on 14 February.
The cruise ship was denied port by four countries over unsubstantiated reports that people infected with COVID-19, were on-board. Among the passenegers are two Maltese citizens.
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