- In addition to the recorded death in France, there are 1,382 deaths to date.
- Chinese State Adviser Wang Yi acknowledged that the new coronavirus is indeed a deep challenge to the country, but defended Beijing's management of the epidemic.
- Beijing has adopted a move to quarantine all returning residents in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
The French Health Minister, Agnès Buzyn, confirmed on Saturday the death of an 80-year-old Chinese tourist due to infection from the coronavirus (Covid-19) that causes pneumonia. This was the first case of death caused by the epidemic outside Chinese borders. The outbreak has so far reached twenty-six countries, in addition to China and its autonomous territories.
The elderly person had been hospitalized since January 25 at the Bichat-Claude Bernard hospital in Paris. Buzyn said she had been informed about the death of the patient late on Friday, adding that his condition “had deteriorated rapidly” after several days in a critical condition. Buzyn released the report in a television statement.
As of Friday, when it issued its last report, the World Health Organization (WHO) found 49,053 confirmed cases of infection by the coronavirus. In addition to the recorded death in France, there are 1,382 deaths to date.
Message to the US
Last Friday, Chinese State Adviser Wang Yi, who also serves as China’s Foreign Minister, acknowledged that the new coronavirus is indeed a deep challenge to the country, but defended Beijing’s management of the epidemic. Wang Yi equally lashed out at what he described as the “overreaction” of other countries. He therefore urged the United States not to take unnecessary measures in responding to the coronavirus that could harm trade, travel, and tourism.
The United States and other nations have taken drastic measures to contain the spread of the epidemic since January. Some countries have stopped foreigners from stepping on their soil in a desperate move to stay away from the deadly viral disease. Commercial flights have been reduced, and many countries have sent charter flights to repatriate citizens from Wuhan, the Chinese city at the center of the outbreak.
The United States also warned Americans not to travel to China, angering Beijing at a time when the two countries were beginning to improve trade ties. Wang said that China has adopted the most rigorous and decisive measures to combat the epidemic, many of which go beyond international health regulations and WHO recommendations. “Through our efforts, the epidemic is generally under control,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump praised the leadership of Chinese President Xi Jinping in China’s battle to contain the virus. Wang said any leader in another country would find the challenge very difficult. “We have made complete prevention and control efforts, efforts so comprehensive that I don’t see any other country that could do that,” he said. “But China has managed to do that.”
Meanwhile, Beijing has adopted a move to quarantine all returning residents in a bid to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The move is aimed at People returning to Beijing from holidays. On Friday, they were ordered to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine as Hubei, the hardest hit province, reported more than 2,400 new cases of the disease.
“From now on, all those who have returned to Beijing should stay at home or submit to group observation for 14 days after arriving,” the notice from Beijing’s virus prevention working group read. “Those who refuse to accept home or centralized observation and other prevention and control measures will be held accountable under law,” it said.