British man on board cruise ship becomes first person from UK to die from coronavirus

Friday, 28th February 2020, 1:57 pm
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 2:21 pm
The Diamond Princess was quarantined for two weeks earlier this month (Getty Images)

A British man who had been on board a cruise ship off the coast of Japan has died from coronavirus.

The British national is the sixth person to have died on the Diamond Princess which was quarantined off the coast of Japan.

The Japanese Ministry of Health said the man was the sixth person to have died on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was subjected to a 14-day quarantine.

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He is the first Briton to have died from coronavirus, also known as Covid-19.

In the UK, 19 people have been diagnosed with the illness. Seventeen cases have been recorded in England, as well as one in Wales and one in Northern Ireland.

Cruise ship in quarantine for two weeks

The cruise ship entered quarantine for two weeks in early February, before 30 British nationals were flown back to the UK from the Diamond Princess last Saturday.

They have been held for an additional fortnight at Arrow Park hospital in Wirral.

The cruise ship went under quarantine after a man disembarked the ship in Hong Kong and was then found to have the virus.

Over 600 people on the ship have tested positive for the virus.

Passengers were initially isolated in their cabins and later allowed to sporadically go out on deck.

Time for war-footing

Former chancellor and Evening Standard editor George Osborne said it is time for the government to go on a “war footing” with the coronavirus.

"The public is fearful, wants information and needs to know their leaders have got a grip," he said, calling for "daily NHS press briefings, regular COBRA meetings chaired by the PM [and] Ministers on all major media shows".