Hong Kong reports second coronavirus death outside mainland China
Hong Kong has reported the second death caused by the new coronavirus outside of mainland China.
The death comes as the number of confirmed cases of the deadly virus continues to climb rapidly in China and as countries around the world grapple with how to contain the disease. In announcing a public health emergency of “international concern” late last week, the World Health Organization said that the virus had spread to more than a dozen countries, including the United States.
A 39-year-old patient died on Tuesday morning in Hong Kong from sudden heart failure after being diagnosed with the virus, the South China Morning Post reported. The news outlet noted that the man had been the 13th confirmed case of the coronavirus in Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous region of China.
The man had reportedly traveled to Wuhan, where the coronavirus originated, on Jan. 21 before returning to Hong Kong just two days later. He was admitted to a hospital in the region on Jan. 31 after developing a fever. Officials have said that the man had a preexisting illness.
The Philippines on Sunday reported the first death caused by the coronavirus outside of China. The Department of Health in the Philippines said a man from Wuhan was admitted to a hospital last week for a fever, cough and sore throat, The Associated Press reported.
“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.
As of Monday, China’s National Health Commission had confirmed more than 20,400 cases of the coronavirus in the country. The virus has accounted for 425 deaths in 31 provincial-level regions on the Chinese mainland.
Hong Kong’s leader, Carrie Lam, on Monday announced new border closures in response to growing calls for public officials to take action to contain the deadly virus. But Lam has resisted demands to seal off the city from China completely. She reportedly is keeping three entry points open, saying there are “very legitimate” reasons for the move.
Several countries, including the U.S., Philippines, Japan and Australia, have enforced temporary travel restrictions as part of an effort to contain the virus. Eight cases of the virus had been confirmed in the U.S. as of Sunday.