A 78-year-old man who was evacuated from the coronavirus-infested cruise ship Diamond Princess in Japan died on Sunday in a hospital in Perth, becoming the first casualty in Australia.
His 79-year-old wife was also infected with the disease during the cruise and remains in a hospital in Perth, a West Australian Department of Health spokeswoman told AFP.
The couple were among about 160 Australians who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess last month and they tested positive for the corona virus during their flight home.
They were immediately transferred to isolation units at Perth Hospital on February 21, while the rest of the evacuees were quarantined in a former mining camp near the northern city of Darwin.
Andrew Robertson, chief medical officer of Western Australia, said the couple initially had only a mild version of the disease, but the man's condition deteriorated later.
He insisted that they were both isolated early on and that their cases "did not pose a risk to the general community or (medical) personnel".
Sunday morning, New South Wales health officials confirmed a 26th case of coronavirus in Australia after being diagnosed with a man in his forties who had traveled from Iran.
He was the second Australian to be infected in Iran. All other cases of the disease in Australia, with the exception of the Perth couple, affected people from the Chinese province of Hubei, where the virus was first reported.
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