Saturday, 1 February 2020


Coronavirus: First death outside China reported in Philippines

An emergency responder in the PhilippinesImage copyrightEPA

A man has died of the coronavirus in the Philippines in the virus's first confirmed fatality outside China.
The patient was a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, in Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.
He appeared to have been infected before arriving in the Philippines, the World Health Organization said.
More than 300 people have died in the outbreak so far, the vast majority from Hubei, and more than 14,000 people worldwide have been infected.
The man developed severe pneumonia after being admitted to a hospital in the capital Manila, the Philippines Department of Health said.
He travelled to the Philippines from Wuhan, via Hong Kong, with a 38-year-old Chinese woman who also tested positive for the virus last week, it added.
Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the WHO representative to the Philippines, urged people to remain calm: "This is the first reported death outside China. However, we need to take into mind that this is not a locally acquired case. This patient came from the epicentre of this outbreak."
According to local news outlet Rappler, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the patient was "stable and showed signs of improvement", but his condition deteriorated over the last 24 hours.
"We are currently working with the Chinese embassy to ensure the dignified management of the remains according to national and international standards to contain the disease," Mr Duque said, adding that the man would be cremated.

People buying face masks in a pharmacy in ManilaImage copyrightREUTERS
Image captionPeople in Manila rushed to buy face masks after the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in the Philippines last week

The Department of Health was now trying to track down people who were on the same flight as the man so that they can be quarantined, he said, as well as any other people the man and woman may have come into contact with, such as hotel staff.
The man's death was confirmed shortly after the Philippines announced it would also immediately halt the arrivals of any foreign travellers from China.
It had previously restricted only those from Hubei, which is at the epicentre of the outbreak.
Countries around the world have closed their borders to people coming from China, as officials work to control the rapid spread of the virus.
The US and Australia have said they will deny entry to all foreign visitors who had recently been to China, where the 2019-nCov strain of the coronavirus first emerged in December.
Other countries including New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy have also announced similar travel restrictions.

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