/Coronavirus: First passengers disembark from Diamond Princess in Japan – BBC News

Coronavirus: First passengers disembark from Diamond Princess in Japan – BBC News

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The Diamond Princess cruise ship - quarantined in Japan due to coronavirus, 16 February 2020Image copyright

Image caption

About 3,700 people were quarantined on board the Diamond Princess

The first passengers have begun disembarking from the virus-hit cruise ship moored off Yokohama, Japan after 14 days of quarantine.

An outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has seen 542 passengers and crew infected on the Diamond Princess- the biggest cluster outside mainland China.

Passengers have for days been describing the difficult quarantine situation on the vessel.

Several countries had already evacuated their citizens as infections spread.

Covid-19 has now claimed 2,004 lives in China, according to the latest Chinese data released on Wednesday.

There have been 74,185 confirmed infections recorded in mainland China and around 700 cases in other countries around the globe.

Hong Kong on Wednesday said a second person had died from the virus while France, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan have each had one fatality.

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Media captionAmericans are taken from the docked ship to Haneda airport in Tokyo

Only passengers who have tested negative for the virus and did not show any symptoms during the quarantine period will be allowed to leave the ship.

Those who have tested negative but were in cabins with infected people will have to remain on board for additional quarantine.

The disembarking process will continue over several days, according to Japanese media citing health officials.

About 500 people are expected to disembark the vessel on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Japanese officials said there were 88 new cases of infection on board the ship, bringing the total to 542 confirmed cases.

Several countries and territories have already separately evacuated their citizens from the ship or plan to do so in the coming days.