Philippines reports first coronavirus death, as China toll reaches 304

  • February 2, 2020

As the death toll in Hubei continues to rise, residents are returning home from overseas on specially-chartered flights [Stringer/EPA-EFE]

The Philippines reported the first death outside China on Sunday from the coronavirus that has now killed at least 304 people, infected thousands and spread to dozens of other the countries.

The man who died in the Philippines was from Wuhan, where the coronavirus is thought to have originated late last year. He was 44.

“This is the first reported death outside China,” Rabindra Abeyasinghe, the World Health Organization 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.

In China, the authorities announced earlier that the death toll had risen to 304 in the 24 hours until midnight on Saturday, with the new deaths all reported in the hard-hit central province of Hubei.

Across China, there were 2,590 new confirmed infections, bringing the total so far to 14,380.

China is facing mounting isolation as countries step up travel restrictions and airlines suspend flights to and from the country. Many have pulled their citizens out of Wuhan in emergency airlifts, while China has laid on flights to bring its own nationals home from overseas holidays.

(Source: Aljazeera)