The first confirmed fatality outside China from the novel coronavirus has been recorded in the Philippines.
According to the country’s Health Department, a 44-year old Chinese man from virus epicenter-Wuhan has died on Sunday after he developed severe pneumonia.
“The man who died was found to have mixed pathogens in his system — including Streptococcus pneumoniae and viral influenza B,” explained World Health Organization’s representative in the Philippines Rabi Abeyasinghe.
The patient was among the two confirmed cases of the virus in the Philippines who are residents of Wuhan.
Reports said that the man was first brought to the hospital due to fever, cough and sore throat on January 25. His 38-year-old female companion also tested positive for the virus and remains hospitalized as of writing.
Upon confirming the first nCov case in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a travel ban on the entry of visitors from Wuhan and later expanded it by banning all travelers coming directly from China, Hong Kong, and Macau within the last 14 days.
The ban exempts Filipino citizens and holders of permanent resident visas issued by the Philippine Government.
“With the safety of the Country and all persons within our territory as prime considerations, and upon further advice from the Department of Health (DOH) that the virus has affected all regions of China, the President has immediately approved… Temporarily banning the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said in a statement.
Similar restrictions have also been imposed in other affected countries like Australia, Japan, Singapore and the United States.
China’s National Health Commission said the virus death toll worldwide has reached 362 as of February 2.