First coronavirus death reported outside China
The Philippines on Sunday reported the first death caused by the coronavirus outside of China, according to The Associated Press.
The death comes as the world grapples with how to contain a deadly virus that originated in central China and has since infected thousands of people in more than a dozen countries, including the U.S. The World Health Organization (WHO) last week declared the coronavirus to be a health emergency of “international concern.” But up until Sunday, every death caused by the disease had been in China.
The Philippine Department of Health said that a man from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the disease first appeared, was admitted to a hospital last week for a fever, cough and sore throat, AP noted.
“The patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise,” the department said in a statement.
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has reportedly temporarily banned travelers from China and its autonomous regions from entering the country. The U.S., Japan, Singapore and Australia have taken similar measures as the virus spreads. Delta Airlines and American Airlines last week announced they would suspend all flights between the U.S. and China starting in February.
China had confirmed more than 14,300 cases of coronavirus as of Saturday night, according to statistics from its National Health Commission. The virus has accounted for 304 deaths in the country.
The virus’s rapid outbreak could have serious consequences for China’s economy, the second-largest in the world. China’s central bank is preparing to inject a 1.2 trillion yuan worth of liquidity into the markets on Monday when the stock markets reopen, Reuters reported.
Authorities in the Hubei province, where Wuhan is located, are planning to extend the Lunar New Year holiday even further in an effort to contain the virus. The holiday had been due to end on Sunday, though will reportedly be pushed further into February in Hubei and other regions. Every school in Hubei is to remain closed.
The Trump administration on Friday declared that the coronavirus presented a public health emergency to the U.S. The move will temporarily ban foreign nationals from entering the country if they have traveled in China within the preceding 14 days.
Eight cases of the virus have been confirmed in the U.S.