PH Confirms 1st Novel Coronavirus Death Outside China

The case involves a Chinese national who came from the virus epicenter Wuhan.
PHOTO: iStock/Domepitipat

The Department of Health (DOH) confirms the second case and first casualty of the novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) in the Philippines. The death of the 44-year-old Chinese man is the first to be reported outside China. 

According to Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, the patient succumbed to severe pneumonia, a symptom of the virus, on February 1. "Over the course of the patient’s admission, he developed severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infections (S. pneumonia and Influenza B). In his last few days, the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement, however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours resulting in his demise," he said in a statement.

The man traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan City via Hong Kong on January 21 with the 38-year-old woman who was tested positive of the 2019-nCoV on January 30—the first case in the country. The woman is still being observed in the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila, where the second patient had died. 

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“I would like to emphasize that this is an imported case with no evidence of local transmission," Duque said. But taking the next steps, the DOH is tracking down the people who were with the infected patients in the same flight, hotels, and other engagements in a procedure called 'contact tracing'. Those who were on the same flight will be isolated and monitored while others will only be monitored without quarantine. 

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The national government has implemented an expanded temporary travel ban on Hubei, China, the province that seats the virus epicenter of Wuhan City, to the rest of mainland China, Macau, and Hong Kong. 

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