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First Person Outside of Mainland China Dies of Wuhan Coronavirus

PHILIPPINES — A man in the Philippines has died from the Wuhan coronavirus — the first time a death has been reported outside mainland China since t...

PHILIPPINES — A man in the Philippines has died from the Wuhan coronavirus — the first time a death has been reported outside mainland China since the outbreak began in December.

Philippines health officials announced Sunday that a 44-year-old Chinese man had died the day before from coronavirus after flying into the country from Wuhan, the Chinese city of 11 million at the center of the outbreak.

There are more than 14,300 confirmed cases around the world, and 305 people have died. All but one of the deaths have been in mainland China.

Within China, almost 60 million people remain on effective lockdown as the country battles to contain the virus amid reports its health system is on its knees, running out of beds and supplies.

International response

There are now more than 160 confirmed cases in 26 countries or territories outside of mainland China.

Germany confirmed its 10th case on Sunday, and there were also new cases reported in South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Macao, and Hong Kong.

And as the virus continues to spread around the world, governments are stepping up their responses.

The United States, Australia, and New Zealand have all announced that they will not allow foreign nationals who have traveled from or transited through China to enter. All three countries will continue to allow citizens who have visited China to enter, although they will need to be quarantined.

Some governments have also raised their travel advisory warnings. The US, for instance, has labeled China a “do not travel” destination — the highest possible warning.

A number of countries have evacuated their citizens from Wuhan.

A second French carried European citizens from Wuhan to Europe, where they were going to be placed in quarantine. French, Belgian, Dutch, Danish, British Czech, and Slovak citizens were on board the plane which was chartered by France and was part of the European Crisis Management Mechanism.

The US evacuated 195 Americans, who are under a 14-day quarantine on an air force base in California. A second evacuation flight that will carry US citizens out of the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak was on its way to the city of Wuhan as of Sunday morning, a US official with knowledge of the matter told CNN.

US Defense Secretary Mark Esper has also approved a request to provide military housing for up to 1,000 people who may need to be quarantined after arriving in the US from overseas travel, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Fears over the pandemic have rattled global stock markets and forced both the US and global carriers to amend flight schedules as demand for China travel declines.

Major airlines — including British Airways and Australia’s Qantas — have announced they will no longer fly to mainland China. Delta said it will suspend flights between the US and China starting on Sunday until at least April 30, according to a press release.

Chinese response

In mainland China, tens of millions of people remain under effective quarantine after the government imposed travel restrictions on a number of cities in Hubei province. Wuhan — where the outbreak was first reported — is the capital of Hubei province.

Although the outbreak has spread to every province and region of China, the outbreak remains worst in Hubei, where more than 7,100 have been diagnosed with coronavirus, and 249 people have died.

Construction of the first of two new medical facilities in the city of Wuhan that were commissioned to provide 2,600 extra beds for patients affected by the outbreak has been completed, according to state media CCTV.

CCTV reported that construction finished Saturday morning on the Huoshenshan Hospital and that control was handed to the military, which will begin operations Monday. The second facility, Leishenshan Hospital, in Wuhan, is due to be complete February 5, according to state media.

All major cities in Hubei province were under lockdown, affecting more than 62 million people.

Huanggang — a city of 7.5 million in Hubei province — is only allowing one representative from each household to leave their home every other day to go out for grocery shopping in order to minimize the flow of people in the city.

The unprecedented decision to shut down entire cities comes as the country faces a shortage of medical supplies. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has even asked the European Union to help China procure medical supplies, according to a Chinese government statement.

Patients and medical staff have also told CNN of delays in testing for the virus, raising concerns that the outbreak in China may be worse than is reported.