Coronavirus in the lab

The deadly Coronavirus has claimed the life of a US national in China. He is believed to be the first foreign national to die of the virus in China.

Chinese authorities confirmed the death on Saturday, saying that a Japanese man suspected of having the virus in Wuhan has died of pneumonia.

CNN quoted US Embassy in Beijing confirming that a 60-year-old American national had died on Thursday at the Jinyintian Hospital in Wuhan, while the Chinese government offered condolences for the death of “a Chinese-American.”

News of the deaths come after mainland China suffered its deadliest day Friday since the outbreak in December. Eight-six new deaths were reported, bringing the total up to 722, while the number of cases rose to 34,546 by the end of the day, according to China’s National Health Commission. Two others have died outside mainland China.

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Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a Japanese man in his 60s died in Wuhan of pneumonia. The hospital that treated him was inconclusive on the cause, but he was highly suspected of having a coronavirus Infection.

To stop the virus from spreading further, Beijing has taken the unprecedented step of trying to quarantine entire cities in Hubei. About 60 million people are under various travel restrictions, as roads are blocked, train stations closed and flights canceled.

Thousands of people are trapped on three cruise liners in Asia due to fears surrounding coronavirus among their passengers.

A ship in Japan, the Diamond Princess, and another in Hong Kong, the World Dream, have both been quarantined after it emerged they had hosted infected passengers.

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A third ship, the Westerdam, has been turned away from various ports due to fears that there may be coronavirus cases on board. There is no suggestion that any passengers, current or former, have been infected.

Sixty-four passengers from the Diamond Princess have tested positive for the virus and been taken ashore for isolation and treatment, Japanese authorities said. About 2,600 guests and more than 1,000 crew are on board, including hundreds of Americans. They will likely stay in quarantine until February 19.