The number of fatalities linked to the coronavirus in Japan rose to 52 on Monday following the deaths of three elderly people, including a man in his 80s in Aichi Prefecture.

The man, who returned from New York on March 11, died at a hospital in Okazaki on Monday morning. He was later found to have the virus, according to the city government.

The health ministry also reported the deaths of two men, both in their 70s, who were on board the virus-hit Diamond Princess cruise ship.

In the city of Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, a man in his 70s, who returned from Spain, and his wife tested positive for the virus, marking the first cases of infection in the prefecture.

Also on Monday, three foreign nationals in their 40s to 50s in Chiba Prefecture were confirmed to have contracted the virus that causes COVID-19.

The three men work for an operator of cargo planes and arrived in Japan from the Netherlands via Italy on March 16, on the same jet as a Japanese man who has already tested positive for the virus.

In Tokyo, 16 new cases of the virus were reported, the largest increase in a single day in the capital. New cases were also reported in Gifu Prefecture and in the city of Kyoto.

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