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Third death from Japan cruise ship as new cases raise quarantine doubts

Tokyo: A third person from a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship quarantined off Japan has died, the health ministry said on Sunday, as new infections among former passengers emerged.
Japan has been criticised in the face of mounting evidence that the quarantine imposed on the Diamond Princess did little to stop the virus spreading. More than 20 foreigners evacuated from the vessel have also tested positive after returning home and on Sunday, authorities admitted a Japanese passenger -- allowed to disembark after receiving a clean bill of health -- had also tested positive for the virus.
A Japanese man in his 80s passed away from pneumonia after being taken off the ship, the health ministry said Sunday. Two elderly passengers died on Thursday after contracting the virus.
Nearly 1,000 passengers were allowed to leave the ship this week after testing negative, but there are now serious concerns about their status.
Among them was a woman in her 60s, who returned home to Tochigi prefecture north of Tokyo by train after disembarking the ship on Wednesday. She later developed a fever and tested positive on Saturday, a local official told AFP. Health Minister Katsunobu Kato admitted Saturday 23 passengers were released without being tested for the virus during the quarantine period. (AFP)