Coronavirus news – live: Japan struggles to defend cruise ship response after highest number of cases after China reported on board

Samuel Osborne

Britons quarantined on a coronavirus-hit cruise ship in Japan will be evacuated “as soon as possible,” the government has announced.

“We hope the flight will be later this week,” the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said, as some passengers were allowed to leave the ship after two weeks in isolation.

It came as the death toll from the virus, known as Covid-19, passed 2,000 in mainland China, with over 74,000 cases reported.

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