Philippines reports first virus death outside China
published : 2 Feb 2020 at 11:51
MANILA: The Philippines on Sunday announced its first fatality from the new coronavirus outbreak, a Chinese man from Wuhan, the first known person to have died outside of China.
The Department of Health said there were now two confirmed infections in the Philippines, including the 44-year-old Chinese man, who died on Saturday.
The man developed severe pneumonia after being admitted to the hospital, the department said.
The death is the first known instance of a person dying of the virus outside China, according to the World Health Organization.
"This is the first reported death outside China," Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the WHO representative to the Philippines, told reporters.
"However, we need to take into mind that this is not a locally acquired case. This patient came from the epicentre of this outbreak," Abeyasinghe added.
The man, who died in a Manila hospital, arrived in the Philippines with a 38-year-old Chinese woman who had also tested positive for the virus, health secretary Francisco Duque said.
She was the Philippines' first case of the virus and is recovering in hospital.
The news of the man's death was released shortly after the Philippines announced it would immediately halt the arrivals of any foreign travellers from China.
The Philippine government has also told citizens not to travel to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The ban also covers foreigners coming from Hong Kong and Macau, said President Rodrigo Duterte's longtime special assistant, Senator Christopher "Bong" Go.
- coronavirus outbreak