First Coronavirus Death Reported Outside China

Sky News:- A man who died from the coronavirus in the Philippines is the first reported death from the illness outside of China, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said.

The 44-year-old was a resident of Wuhan, the Chinese city in Hubei province, which is the epicentre of the outbreak.

A 38-year-old woman, who travelled to the Philippines with the man and is also from Wuhan, tested positive for the virus and remains in hospital isolation in Manila.

She was the first confirmed case of coronavirus in the Philippines.

The man who died had developed severe pneumonia and had “showed signs of improvement” before his death on 1 February, the WHO said.

Dr Abeyasinghe said: “This is the first reported (death) outside of China. However, we need to keep in mind that he came from Wuhan, China.

“San Lazaro Hospital and the Department of Health assured that infection prevention and control measures are in place, including personal protective equipment to health workers.”

The death in the Philippines comes as China is facing mounting isolation in the face of increasing travel restrictions and flight suspensions, as the number of dead from the coronavirus outbreak rose to 305.

The epidemic has led to countries including the UK and the US evacuating their citizens from China, and risks worsening a slowdown in growth in the world’s second largest economy.

New Zealand has said it will bar all foreign nationals arriving from mainland China from Monday – following the US, Singapore and Australia after they took the same action.

South Korea says it will stop people who have visited Hubei province from entering the country from Tuesday, while Vietnam has suspended all flights to and from China.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in China has reached more than 14,300. More than 130 cases have also been reported across at least 25 other countries including the UK, US, Russia, France, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.

The US confirmed its eighth case – a student at the Boston campus of the University of Massachusetts – while the Pentagon has said it will provide housing for people arriving from overseas who might need to be quarantined.

Japan confirmed an additional three cases of the new coronavirus among evacuees from Wuhan, bringing the country’s total to 20 cases.

Meanwhile, six officials in the Chinese city of Huanggang, neighbouring Wuhan, have been fired over “poor performance” in handling the outbreak, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

The agency cited the mayor as saying the city’s “capabilities to treat the patients remained inadequate and there is a severe shortage in medical supplies such as protective suits and medical masks”.

The WHO, which declared the outbreak a global public health emergency last week, has said global trade and travel restrictions are not needed.


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