The first non-Chinese case of death from the coronavirus has been confirmed. The victim, a 60 year old American, died on Thursday 6th February. This is according to U.S officials.
The death is reported to have occurred at a time when several million Chinese are moving back from the extended Lunar New Year Break. This break was extended in attempts to curtail the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Although most of the known cases of infections or deaths have been in China, there have been other confirmed cases of the virus’ spread to about 27 countries. These cases include the infection of five British nationals at a ski resort in France.
According to a spokesman for the U.S embassy who reported the incident on Saturday, the death of the American victim occurred in Wuhan, which has been the main place of the virus’ outbreak in the central Chinese province of Hubei.
The details of the victim were not disclosed due to respect for the victim’s family’s privacy. Neither were there any comments on how it happened or anything else.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry has also reported the death of a Japanese male in Hubei’s capital, Wuhan. The victim who was in his sixties was said to have been hospitalized with pneumonia but passed on following manifestations of symptoms consistent with the coronavirus.
In a response to the virus’ outbreak, cities have been sealed off by China’s ruling Communist Party leaders. Factories have been shut off and flights cancelled. This has affected the second largest economy in the world and also created a global ripple effect, especially for businesses and financial markets that depend on China.
Authorities state that as of Saturday, there had been about 722 deaths in mainland China and that the deaths were expected to 774, which is the number of deaths that were recorded globally during the 2002 – 2003 outbreak of SARS (or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome).
The reports state that, as of Saturday, there were about 31,774 cases across mainland China with the majority of deaths which have occurred in China occurring in and around Wuhan.
From an official reports according to a Reuters count, there have been two deaths outside of mainland China. While both the victims were Chinese nationals, these deaths occurred in the Philippines and in Hong Kong. Other statistics include that cases of the virus has been reported in about 27 countries and regions with more than 330 people infected.
The five British nationals earlier reported to have been infected are among the latest infections. According to health officials, all five patients once stayed in the same chalet at a ski resort in the Haute-Savoie in the Alps with another individual who had been in Singapore. While officials say that the British nationals are not in any serious condition, this has also raised more fears of a further spread of the virus and infections as this period in the ski season is a very busy one.