Two elderly passengers taken off the Diamond Princess cruise ship because they were infected with coronavirus have died, Japan's Health Ministry said. They are the first fatalities from the virus-stricken vessel, and Japan now has three deaths linked to the Covid-19 illness. Japan's NHK public television said both were Japanese and in their 80s. A Health Ministry official only confirmed that they had been previously taken to hospital in a serious condition and had existing chronic diseases. The new virus began in China late last year and has affected tens of thousands of people, mostly in central China's Hubei province.