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Canadian in Japan dies from COVID-19 related complications

Last Updated Mar 20, 2020 at 4:34 pm PDT

FILE - A Canadian passport is displayed in Ottawa on July 23, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

A Canadian in Japan is dead after contracting the novel coronavirus

Canada Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne provided few details on the death

Consular assistance is being provided to the person's family

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Canadian who was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship has died in Japan from the novel coronavirus.

Speaking to in Ottawa on Friday, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Theresa Tam confirmed the deceased was among those who were infected with COVID-19 while aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship and taken for treatment in Japan.

“I would like to express my deepest condolences to the the family of the Canadian who recently passed away in Japan,” she said. “Our thoughts are with you and many others who have lost a loved one to this disease, both at home and abroad.”

She added there are now more than 245,000 COVID-19 cases globally in more than 179 countries, including more than 1,000 in Canada. The latter includes 12 cases at the Canadian Forces Base in Trenton, Ont., Tam said.

Canada Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne first confirmed the death abroad in a tweet earlier Friday, adding he was “deeply saddened” by the news.

It’s unclear where the person was from within Canada, whether they were a man or woman, or how old they were.

“Our deepest condolences to the family, to whom we are providing consular assistance during this difficult time,” Champagne wrote on Twitter.

The foreign affairs minister shared the news after having a COVID-19 scare of his own on Thursday. Champagne went into self-isolation and was being tested for the virus after developing flu-like symptoms. His tests have since come back negative.

There have been 12 deaths from COVID-19 in Canada, in addition to the one abroad. Of the 12 in Canada, eight stem from a care home in North Vancouver.

A couple from Surrey was aboard the Diamond Princess and quarantined in Cornwall, Ont.