TOKYO: A woman in her 80s has become the first person with the new coronavirus to die in Japan, the country’s health minister said Thursday, cautioning it was not clear if the virus caused her death.
“The relationship between the new coronavirus and the death of the person is still unclear,” Katsunobu Kato said at a late-night briefing.
“This is the first death of a person who tested positive.”
The minister said the woman, living in Kanagawa prefecture, developed symptoms on January 22 and was hospitalized on February 1.
“She was suspected of being infected with the new coronavirus so… testing was conducted. Her positive test result was confirmed after her death,” he said.
The case comes as Japan deals with more than 200 confirmed infections from a quarantined cruise ship that has been moored off the coast since early February.
Those who test positive on the boat have been taken to hospitals, with five people in serious condition.