Third person from Japan cruise ship dies: health ministry

A third person who became ill on board a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship quarantined off the coast of Japan has died, the country's health ministry said on Sunday.

In a statement, the ministry identified the victim as a Japanese man in his 80s who was removed from the Diamond Princess and taken to a local hospital after suffering "symptoms."

The ministry did not confirm whether the man had tested positive for COVID-19, saying it could only disclose the information that the family of the man had consented to make public.

It gave the man's cause of death as pneumonia.

The death comes after two other elderly passengers, also both Japanese and in their 80s, died on Thursday after contracting the virus.

Despite a quarantine imposed on the Diamond Princess, more than 600 people on board tested positive for the virus, with several dozen in serious condition.

In total, Japan has so far recorded four deaths linked to the new coronavirus outbreak, which has infected more than 130 people excluding those linked to the Diamond Princess.