Saturday, 28 March, 2020


Hong Kong reports first death of coronavirus patient

The death toll from coronavirus reaches 427 and more than 20,000 confirmed cases worldwide Hong Kong reports first death of coronavirus patient
Kristine Garrett | 12 February, 2020, 22:30

According to new reports, the death toll has now increased to 427, and worldwide cases are thousands.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the flu-like virus a global emergency and experts say much is still unknown about the pathogen, including its mortality rate and transmission routes.

More than 80% were over 60 years old, and more than 75% had an underlying disease, Jiao Yahui, a National Health Commission official, told a news conference Tuesday.

Highlighting the concern about infections spreading in other densely-populated Chinese metropolitan areas, authorities in three cities in eastern Zhejiang province - including one near Shanghai - placed restrictions on the number of people allowed to leave their homes.

Three districts in Hangzhou - including the area where the main office of Chinese tech giant Alibaba is based - chose to allow only one person per household to go outside every two days to buy necessities, affecting some three million people.

The death is only the second outside of mainland China and comes as the country faced increasing pressure in a race to stop the spread of the virus.

The Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, is converting an additional 8 buildings, including gymnasiums, exhibition centers and sports centers, into hospitals, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

Beijing's Government Hospital doctors have said that there have been no signs of mutation to the virus and although people showing no symptoms can spread the virus, they appear to be less contagious.

Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, announced that the semi-autonomous territory will shut nearly all but two land and sea border crossings with the mainland at midnight to stem the spread of the virus.

In Hong Kong, hospitals workers are striking to demand the border with mainland China be shut completely to ward off the virus, but four new cases without known travel to the mainland indicate the illness is spreading locally in the territory. He had visited Wuhan last month and his 72-year-old mother was also infected.

The outbreak is reminiscent of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), a virus from the same family that emerged in China in 2002 and killed nearly 800 people around the world out of the roughly 8,000 who were infected.

New cases were reported in the US, including a patient in California infected via someone in the same household who had been infected in China.

On January 10, after unwittingly treating a patient infected with the coronavirus, Li began coughing, developed a fever the next day and was hospitalized the day after that.

The little-understood coronavirus has killed almost 500 people, mostly in mainland China, but it has also spread panic and anger around the world as the cases grow.

"There is as yet no evidence of widespread sustained community transmission in Singapore", the health ministry said in a statement.

A passenger on a Japanese-operated cruise ship tested positive after leaving the vessel while it was in Hong Kong, and Japanese officials were considering a quarantine of the more than 3,000 people on board.

"As Carrie Lam refused to close the border, more (deaths) might come.We are not threatening the government, we just want to prevent the outbreak", said Cheng, a 26-year-old nurse attending the strike. A 1,500-bed hospital also specially built is due to open soon.

The WHO saud at least 151 cases had been confirmed in 23 other countries and regions, including the United States, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong and Britain.

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