American dead in Wuhan as NCoV toll in China reaches 722
Beijing, Feb 8
A US citizen was confirmed to have died due to the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak, as the overall death toll in China from the epidemic increased to 722 on Saturday, with 34,546 infected cases.
In a report, the South China Morning Post (SCMP) newspaper quoted a US embassy spokesman as saying: “We can confirm that a 60-year-old US citizen diagnosed with coronavirus died at Jinyintang hospital in Wuhan, China, on February 6.”
This is the first confirmed foreign death in China from the outbreak, the SCMP report added.
On Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying had said there were 19 foreigners infected in China, and two of them had been discharged. The remainder were being isolated for treatment.
Meanwhile, China’s National Health Commission confirmed the new toll on Saturday, adding that it received reports of 3,399 new cases and 86 deaths on Friday from 31 provincial-level regions and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps, Xinhua news agency reported.
Among the deaths, 81 are reported in Hubei province, two in Heilongjiang and one each in Beijing, Henan and Gansu, respectively.
The Commission added that 6,101 patients remained in severe condition, and 27,657 people were suspected of being infected with the virus.
On Saturday, China sent two senior cadres to Wuhan as local officials have faced criticism over the handling of the outbreak, the SCMP said in the report.
The dispatch of the two senior cadres to Wuhan followed the announcement on Friday that the ruling Communist Party’s top anti-corruption body was sending investigators to the city to probe issues relating to whistle-blower doctor Li Wenliang, who died of the coronavirus.
Li, 34, died after contracting the coronavirus. He had earlier been reprimanded by police for alerting his friends about the outbreak in December.
The virus has spread overseas, with more than 20 nations reporting confirmed cases, although there has so far been only two deaths outside mainland China in the Philippines and China.
The other countries where coronavirus cases have been reported are Japan (86), Singapore (30),
Thailand (25), Hong Kong (26), South Korea (24), Taiwan (16), Australia (15), Malaysia (14), Germany (13), the US (12 plus one in China), Vietnam (12), Macao (10), Canada (seven), UAE (seven), France (six), India (three), Philippines (three), the UK (three), Italy (three), Russia (two), Cambodia (one), Finland (one), Nepal (one), Sri Lanka (one), Spain (one) and Sweden (one), according to figures from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.