China coronavirus toll reaches 304, 14,380 infected
Beijing: Chinese health authorities on Sunday said that the death toll in the country due to the deadly novel coronavirus has increased to 304, with 14,380 infected cases.
The National Health Commission that 2,110 patients remained in severe condition, and 19,544 people were suspected of being infected with the virus, Xinhua news agency reported.
A total of 328 people had been discharged from hospital after recovery.
The Commission said 163,844 close contacts had been traced, adding that among them, 8,044 were discharged on Saturday, with 137,594 others still under medical observation.
The Philippines on Sunday reported the country’s first death from the novel coronavirus, making it the first country outside China to report a fatality.
The victim was a 44-year-old Chinese male from the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, who came to the Philippines via Hong Kong on January 21, Health Secretary Francisco Duque said.
Duque told the media that the unidentified man, who died on Saturday, was the second confirmed case in the Philippines.
The victim was admitted for pneumonia on January 25 after experiencing fever, cough and sore throat, he said, adding: “Over the course of the patient’s admission he developed severe pneumonia. In his last few days the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement.
“However, the condition of the patient deteriorated within the last 24 hours resulting in his demise.”
The World Health Organization, which has declared the outbreak as a global health emergency, said the victim appeared to have been infected before arriving in the Philippines, the BBC reported.
Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the WHO representative to the Philippines, urged people to remain calm, saying: “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.”
Outside of China, the countries that have confirmed coronavirus cases are Thailand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Macao, Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the US, Germany, France, Vietnam, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, Italy, the UK, Russia, Cambodia, Finland, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Spain and Sweden.
Some countries 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 2019.
Other countries including New Zealand, Russia, Japan, Pakistan and Italy have also announced similar travel restrictions.
Hong Kong hospital workers have voted to go on strike from Monday unless the territory’s border with mainland China is completely closed, which the city’s government has refused to do.