• Kyodo


A Hokkaido man in his 70s has died after being infected with COVID-19, the local government said Sunday, bringing the domestic death toll to 12.

The Japanese national, who had no record of overseas travel, died Saturday after developing a fever and pneumonia on Feb. 23 while hospitalized, the regional government said. He had tested positive for the virus two days after developing pneumonia.

The government also announced that a nurse in her 20s and a man in his 40s were confirmed to be infected.

Hokkaido, which recently declared a state of emergency over the outbreak, has the largest number of coronavirus cases in the country. At least 72 infections have been confirmed in the region.

When making the emergency declaration on Friday, Hokkaido Gov. Naomichi Suzuki requested that people refrain from going out over the weekend.

Also on Sunday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government said a nurse in her 50s and a man in his 70s have been confirmed to be infected, while the city of Funabashi in Chiba Prefecture said a student in his 20s tested positive. The Kanagawa Prefectural Government said a woman in her 50s has been confirmed to be infected, while the city of Sagamihara in the prefecture said a couple in their 50s tested positive. The city of Nagoya said three women in their 50s to 80s were infected, the city of Kochi said a woman tested positive, and the city of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture said a taxi driver in his 60s was infected. Later Sunday, Hyogo Prefecture announced that a man in his 40s from Nishinomiya was infected, the first case in the prefecture.

More than 960 infections have been confirmed in Japan, including more than 700 people who were aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship that had been quarantined off Yokohama.

Of the 12 deaths in the country, six were related to the cruise ship.

Meanwhile, health minister Katsunobu Kato said Sunday that all passengers and crew members have now left the Diamond Princess.

He also said the ministry has dispatched a team of medical experts to Kanagawa Prefecture and will dispatch another team to Osaka Prefecture. Both areas have seen localized outbreaks, and the experts will gather information about clusters of cases and work to prevent further spread.

In Osaka Prefecture, three people who attended the same concert at a club in the city of Osaka’s Miyakojima Ward on Feb. 15 were confirmed to be infected. Some 100 people, including visitors and staff, were at the live performance.

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