Coronavirus kills Chinese man in Philippines, first death outside China
- Two confirmed cases of coronavirus in Philippines
- Man from Wuhan died on Saturday, companion also infected
- Philippines expands travel ban
MANILA: The Philippines said on Sunday a 44-year-old Chinese man had died from the new coronavirus, the first fatality from the growing outbreak to have died outside of China, where the epidemic started.
The Department of Health said there were now two confirmed infections in the Philippines, including the man from Wuhan in Hubei province, the epicentre of the outbreak, who died on Saturday.
The man developed severe pneumonia after being admitted to a government hospital in Manila on Jan. 25, the department said.
In China, the death toll from the coronavirus outbreak had reached 304 as of the end of Saturday, state broadcaster CCTV said on Sunday, citing the country's National Health Commission, with recorded cases of infections of more than 14,000.
The man who died was a companion of a 38-year-old Chinese woman, also from Wuhan, who was the first to test positive for the virus in the Philippines.
Both patients arrived in the Philippines via Hong Kong on Jan. 21, the health department said.
While the patient who died was "stable and showed signs of improvement" during his last few days in the hospital, his condition deteriorated within the 24-hour period before he died, Health Secretary Francisco Duque told reporters.
"We are currently working with the Chinese embassy to ensure the dignified management of the remains according to national and international standards to contain the disease," he said.
Duque said all measures needed to contain the spread of the virus were being strictly implemented and followed, including by health personnel who came in contact with the two patients.
Passengers aboard the flights of the two positive cases were being traced, he said.
The health department's announcement followed a move by the Philippine government to expand its travel ban amid the outbreak to include all foreigners coming from China. It earlier had restricted only those from Hubei.
The ban also covers foreigners coming from Hong Kong and Macau.