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WHO confirms first novel coronavirus casualty in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – The first casualty of the deadly strain, the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019 nCoV) outside of China, was recorded and confirmed in the Philippines Sunday, according to World Health Organization (WHO) local office in the Philippines.

A 44-year-old man of Chinese origin died of the deadly virus few days after developing "severe pneumonia" and was under tight observation by hospital workers in the country along with his 38-year-old wife.

FIRST DEATH OUTSIDE OF CHINA. The first death of the deadly novel coronavirus is confirmed in the Philippines by health experts. As a result of this news, people scampered to pharmacies to buy face masks as their protection. Photo credit to Reuters. 

This added to the current death toll of 304, in which all who have died are Chinese from Wuhan City, the reported epicenter of nCoV. The man who had died in the Philippines was also from Wuhan, China but went to the Philippines as a tourist on January 21, 2020 with his wife, when they were spotted by health authorities of having symptoms of the deadly strain, such as fever and cough.

His wife is still recovering and being secured by health authorities in the Philippines, while possible other victims associated with the couple are also being traced in Cebu and Dumaguete, where the couple visited after they arrived at the Manila international airport last January 21. 

In a press statement, the local office here of World Health Organization said “This is the first known death of someone with 2019-nCoV outside of China.” 

Meanwhile DOH secretary Francisco Duque III said the man was not very ill and he was fine when he arrived in the country, so that all the attention was only focused on her wife after a lab test in Australia confirmed his wife was the first infected patient of the virus in the country.

“In his last few days, the patient was stable and showed signs of improvement; however, the condition of the patient deteriorated within his last 24 hours, resulting in his demise,” Duque told reporters.

The country's top health executive said there are 23 people suspected of carrying the nCoV are now closely monitored and isolated in a secure government facility.  

He said “The new developments warrant a more diligent approach in containing the threats of the 2019-nCoV.” 

Earlier, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global health emergency to combat the spread of the virus which originated from Wuhan, China and now easily spread to as many countries of the world.

In China, the outbreak of the virus has gone worst with death toll now rises to 304 and more than 14,000 people have been confirmed infected with the deadly virus, while 102,000 people are also under observations in different hospitals in the country.

UK and Russia are two countries with newly confirmed Coronavirus infection. Other countries are Australia (9 cases); Cambodia (1); Canada (3); France (6); Finland (1); 
Germany (6); India (1); Italy (2); Japan (16); Malaysia (8); Nepal (1); Philippines (1); Singapore (16); South Korea (11); Sri Lanka (1); Taiwan (10); Thailand (19);
United States (6); United Arab Emirates (4); and Vietnam (5).

Pakistan, in a report by Aljazeera, offered to send a medical team to China to help the Chinese government contain the deadly virus which started in Wuhan.

Makhdoom Shah Qureshi, Pakistan's Prime Minister said the offer was made thru a phone conversation with its Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

In Germany, scientists and researchers said they are expecting that a vaccine for Coronavirus would be develop within months.
Research Minister Anja Karliczek says "If we want to contain this illness then it is good if we have a vaccine in a relatively short time and we assume this will be in a few months." 

Karliczek made the announcement after a biopharmaceutical company known as CureVac AG, together with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) have confirmed they were now working together to develop a vaccine that would contain or maybe kill the deadly virus.

In Beijing, China, companies have postpone the reopening of their respective businesses until February 10 to help in the planned prevention of the 2019 Coronavirus which now threatens the world.

The measures, report said, are all applicable to private and government companies in Beijing, except for utilities as well as other firms like medical equipment, supermarkets, and pharmaceutical companies.


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