Photo/Illutration Hokkaido Governor Naomichi Suzuki addresses a Feb. 14 meeting of local officials dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. (Hitoshi Tanohata)

SAPPORO--Authorities in Hokkaido announced Feb. 27 that a second local resident infected with the coronavirus had died, bringing the total of related deaths in Japan to eight.

The man in his 80s lived in Shiriuchi, a town near the southwestern tip of the main northern island.

He was hospitalized at a medical institution on Feb 3 after complaining of respiratory difficulties. He tested positive for the coronavirus on Feb. 22.

While his condition was stable at first, it gradually worsened and his death was confirmed early on Feb. 27.

The man had chronic heart and lung problems.

Town officials said family members who were in close contact with the man so far had no health issues.

In Tokyo, a man in his 80s who had been confirmed infected with the coronavirus died on Feb. 26

The tally of deaths includes four passengers from the virus-infested Diamond Princess cruise ship.