On Sunday, the World Health Organization took to Twitter to confirm the first death from the coronavirus outside of China. In the Twitter post, WHO said: “A 44-year-old male has been confirmed to be the second person with the 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV) in the Philippines."
The WHO went on to confirm that the individual passed away on February 1st, 2020 , in Manila. In a second tweet that followed, it was confirmed that the individual presented with fever, cough, and sore throat before they went to San Lazaro Hospital and was subsequently admitted.
According to WHO, the deceased individual appeared to have contracted and been infected with the coronavirus before arriving within the Philippine border.
The man, along with a 38-year-old female traveling companion, arrived together from the Wuhan province in China, which has been the confirmed outbreak epicenter of the virus, reportedly by way of Hong Kong.
At a press conference held on Sunday, the Philippines Department of Health stated that the 44-year-old deceased man and his 38-year-old traveling companion were the only confirmed cases within the country, at that time.
They went on to emphasize that even though this is the first confirmed death beyond the China province of Wuhan, it needs to be remembered that this was not a case that was acquired locally. The deceased individual had come from the very epicenter from which the coronavirus was known to have originated from.
As a precaution, the Philippine president, Rodrigo Dutere, stated that there was a ban instated on anyone coming into the country, originating from China, who was not a Filipino national.
The US and Australia governments, along with several other companies, have discontinued to acceptance of foreigners from China from entering their country, and require that their own nationals be quarantined.
As it stands, the figures stand at 14,380 infections, spanning across 24 countries, with a reported confirm death toll of 300.
On Saturday, the China National Health Commission (NHC) issued new regulations on coronavirus victims. From here on out, anyone who falls victim to and subsequently succumb to the coronavirus within China, are to be cremated at the nearest available facility.
It was also stated that there would be no ceremonies or other such funeral activities permitted that involve the deceased will be held or allowed to be conducted.
Will this individual's death prove to be the first of many more to come?