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Philippines reports first death outside of China in coronavirus outbreak

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Emma Green
Emma Green is a Post-Graduate in Mass Communication who is acquainted with the dos and don’ts of ethical journalism and news writing techniques. She is also a contributor to the International news section at InstaTribune.

The Philippines confirmed that a man who tested positive for the new coronavirus died on Saturday.

The 44-year-old man was the second confirmed case in the Philippines. Officials from the Department of Health said he was the companion of the person in the first confirmed case, a 38-year-old woman.

Both people are from Wuhan, China — the city at the epicenter of a coronavirus outbreak. Earlier Sunday, officials said the virus has claimed 304 lives and infected at least 14,380 in China.

“This is the first reported case outside of China. However, we need to keep in mind that he came from Wuhan, China,” Dr. Rabi Abeyasinghe, a World Health Organization representative in the Philippines said in a statement on Twitter.

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Officials said the 44-year-old man was admitted to the San Lazaro Hospital in Manila on Jan. 25 after experiencing a fever, cough and sore throat. Officials said he developed a severe pneumonia due to viral and bacterial infections before stabilizing in his last few days. The man’s condition, however, deteriorated rapidly in his last 24 hours, officials said.

“I would like to emphasize that this is an imported case with no evidence of local transmission. 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,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said in a statement.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually infect animals but can sometimes evolve and spread to humans. Symptoms in humans include fever, coughing and shortness of breath, which can progress to pneumonia.

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