Hong Kong reports first death of coronavirus patient

A medical worker in a protective suit helps a couple outside a hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province Thursday Jan. 30 2020. China counted 170 deaths from a new virus Thursday and more countries reported infections including some spre

A medical worker in a protective suit helps a couple outside a hospital in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province Thursday Jan. 30 2020. China counted 170 deaths from a new virus Thursday and more countries reported infections including some spre

The head of the World Health Organization said Monday in Geneva that it was working with Google to ensure that searches about the new virus turned up information from the United Nations health agency first, part of efforts to fight "rumors and misinformation" about the outbreak. At the same time, 396 people recovered from the disease.

Vietnam has assigned the military to quarantine 950 Vietnamese returning from China, where the coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 420 people, state media reported on Tuesday.

Wuhan and some other cities remain in virtual lockdown with travel severely restricted, and China is facing increasing global isolation. It was built in just 10 days, its prefabricated wards equipped with state-of-the-art medical equipment and ventilation systems.

The second hospital is due to open later this week.

The government extended the Lunar New Year holiday by three days in an effort to keep people indoors.

American Airlines Group and United Airlines said on Wednesday they would suspend flights to and from the Asian financial hub after this week, a step that would leave no U.S. carriers flying passengers to Hong Kong. Only the land checkpoints at Shenzhen Bay and the bridge to Macao and Zhuhai will remain open.

The number of deaths in China now exceeds the 349 killed on the mainland in the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2002-03.

The White House said China had accepted its offer to have USA experts as part of a World Health Organization mission to study and help combat the virus.

It was the second instance of person-to-person spread in the United States after a case reported last week in IL.

The SARS virus is also believed to have originated in bats, although it jumped to civet cats before infecting people. Broadcaster RTHK said the 39-year-old man, who suffered from an underlying illness, had visited Wuhan on 21 January.

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that strike by medical employees had affected the hospital services and patients, especially those in critical condition. The ship had 2,666 passengers and 1,045 crew members.

The coronavirus outbreak claimed its first life in Hong Kong on Tuesday, compounding the global financial centre's problems after anti-government protests, and Macau, the world's biggest gambling playground, urged casinos to shut their doors. The patient is now recovering and is in stable condition, and his travelling companions so far have not been infected, the captain said.

All workers wore masks, as mandated by the authorities for the entire population of Wuhan, and were checked for fevers during their breaks. "If I do not receive food soon, I will be in a diabetic coma, but it'll be too bloody late".

Across mainland China, there were 3887 new confirmed infections for a total of 24,324.

The former British colony so far has had 15 confirmed cases of the newly discovered coronavirus, including one that was transmitted locally.

Nevertheless, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged countries outside China to share more data on infections, saying detailed information has been provided in only 38% of cases.

Zhejiang province has confirmed 829 cases - the highest number outside the central region of Hubei, whose capital, Wuhan, is the epicentre of the outbreak.

The United States, meanwhile, acknowledged that the outbreak may delay Beijing's plans to purchase American goods under the terms of a deal meant to end the two countries' trade war.

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