First foreigners die from coronavirus in Wuhan, China

Monday, February 10, 2020

According to officials on Saturday, the coronavirus 2019-nCoV may have killed two male foreign visitors in Wuhan, China — a man from the United States who tested positive for the virus, and another man from Japan who was suspected of dying from the virus — reportedly the first foreign deaths from the virus within the borders of China. As of yesterday, the virus had reportedly killed at least 813 in China and infected around 35,000 worldwide in at least 28 countries.

According to the U.S. embassy in Beijing, the infected 60-year-old western man died in February 6; Chinese authorities referred to him as "Chinese-American." Japanese officials said the Japanese man showed symptoms similar to the coronavirus infection and was suspected to have it; his death, they reported, was officially described as viral pneumonia.

Chinese citizens have criticized their government's initial response to the outbreak. Police detained eight people for "spreading rumors," including ophthalmologist Li Wenliang, who tried to warn people about the viral outbreak in December. Li died of the infection on Friday, which quickly became the most frequently discussed subject on the Chinese social networking platform Weibo. The hashtag "#we want freedom of speech#" quickly reached at least about two million views before being deleted by censors.

The government of China has quarantined a number of cities over the virus.

Governments in east Asia have prevented at least two cruise ships from disembarking at their intended ports because some of the people on board tested positive for coronavirus.

In addition to the deaths recorded in China, one person in the Philippines and one in Hong Kong have died of this new coronavirus.

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