Coronavirus: US citizen dies as death toll hits 811 in China

February 9, 2020
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The deadly Coronavirus has claimed the life of a US national in China as the number of deaths from the new coronavirus has risen to 811 in mainland China, the country’s National Health Commission said on Sunday.

Chinese authorities confirmed the death on Saturday, saying that a Japanese man suspected of having the virus in Wuhan has died of pneumonia.

CNN quoted US Embassy in Beijing confirming that a 60-year-old American national had died on Thursday at the Jinyintian Hospital in Wuhan, while the Chinese government offered condolences for the death of “a Chinese-American.”

News of the deaths come after mainland China suffered its deadliest day Friday since the outbreak in December. Eight-six new deaths were reported, bringing the total up to 811, while the number of cases rose to 34,546 by the end of the day, according to China’s National Health Commission. Two others have died outside mainland China.

Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a Japanese man in his 60s died in Wuhan of pneumonia. The hospital that treated him was inconclusive on the cause, but he was highly suspected of having a coronavirus Infection.

To stop the virus from spreading further, Beijing has taken the unprecedented step of trying to quarantine entire cities in Hubei. About 60 million people are under various travel restrictions, as roads are blocked, train stations closed and flights canceled.

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The death toll thereby surpassed that of SARS, a respiratory disease which caused a global health scare in early 2000, and which also began in China.

Across China, 89 new deaths and 2,656 new confirmed cases were reported, the vast majority in the province of Hubei.

According to the commission’s figures, health authorities recorded a total of 33,738 confirmed cases of the new coronavirus since the beginning of the outbreak in December.

The outbreak’s epicentre is located in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province. There, the number of new cases of pneumonia caused by the virus rose by 2,147, the provincial health commission said.

Also 81 new deaths were reported over the last 24 hours in Hubei, bringing the total to 780.

The virus, which has spread to about two dozen countries since first being identified, has only claimed the lives of two people outside mainland China, a Chinese man in the Philippines and a man in Hong Kong.

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