First Australian death from coronavirus

An elderly Perth man who spent time on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship has become the first Australian to die after contracting the Covid-19 coronavirus.

His death was confirmed by Western Australia's chief health officer Andrew Robertson.

The 78-year-old man and his 79-year-old wife were among the 3700 people on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship, including 14 New Zealanders and 164 Australians, when cases of coronavirus began to emerge.

Passengers were placed under isolation, but the virus continued to spread on the ship, with hundreds of people testing positive, including another WA man, who was taken off the ship to be treated in Japan.

Four New Zealanders who were on the ship have previously tested positive for Covid-19 in Japan. All four were taken to hospital in Japan to be treated.

The elderly Perth couple were flown back to their home city just over a week ago, where the man has been in isolation at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.