First Coronavirus death outside China: Man dies in the Philippines

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 02 Feb 2020

Photo courtesy: Pixabay

Manila: In the first case of death reported outside China, a person died from the disease in the Philippines, media reports said on Sunday.

The patient was a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, in Hubei province, where the virus was first detected, reported BBC.

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) on Sunday revealed that as of Feb 1, 2020, twenty-four (24) patients under investigation (PUIs) tested negative for the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) while two (2) tested positive. Samples from four (4) other PUIs are currently being tested at RITM.

The two confirmed cases are the previously-announced 38-year-old Chinese female and her companion, a 44-year-old Chinese male who were both admitted for isolation and supportive treatment at San Lazaro Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila. Both patients are from Wuhan, China and arrived in the Philippines via Hong Kong last Jan 21, 2020, the department said in a statement.

The second confirmed case was admitted for pneumonia last January 25, 2020  after experiencing fever, cough, and sore throat. 

Speaking on the death, the department said: "DOH also confirmed that the 44-year-old male died yesterday, February 1, 2020. Over the course of the patient’s admission, he developed severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infections (S. pneumoniae and Influenza B). In his last few days, 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."

“I would like to emphasize that this is an imported case with no evidence of local transmission.  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,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said. 

The Coronavirus has claimed 300 lives so far.

The majority of the disease outbreak has been reported from Hubei region in the country.

Over 14,000 people have been infected in the nation.

The US, Australia and an increasing number of other countries have barred the arrival of foreigners from China and are requiring their own citizens to be quarantined, reported BBC.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has overtaken that of the similar Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003. But the mortality rate of the new virus is much lower, suggesting it is not as deadly, the British media said.

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