First Coronavirus Death Outside China Reported

A man has died of the coronavirus in the Philippines in the virus’s first confirmed fatality outside China.

The patient was a 44-year-old Chinese man from Wuhan, in Hubei province, where the virus was first detected.

He appeared to have been infected before arriving in the Philippines, the World Health Organization said.

The man was one of two confirmed cases in the Philippines, the other being his 38-year-old female companion, authorities said. Both had arrived in the country on January 21 after traveling through Hong Kong, they said.

Though hundreds of people have died from the coronavirus since the outbreak first began in central China, all deaths had, until now, been in China itself. Some 150 people outside China have been sickened by the virus.

The US, Australia and an increasing number of other countries have barred the arrival of foreigners from China and are requiring their own citizens to undergo quarantine.

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has overtaken that of the similar Sars epidemic, which spread to more than two dozen countries in 2003. But the mortality rate of the new virus is much lower, suggesting it is not as deadly.

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