- In China, the number of deaths from the coronavirus has risen to 490.
- Hong Kong's healthcare professionals are on strike demanding Carrie Lam close the border with China.
- Macau's Chief Executive asked that all casino operations be stopped for two weeks.
Hong Kong reported the first death due to the new coronavirus in its territory Tuesday. The victim is a 39-year-old man who had visited the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of the disease, in January. This is the second death from the virus outside mainland China. The first was a 44-year-old man in the Philippines.
In China, the number of deaths from the coronavirus has risen to 490. There are more than 24,000 reported cases worldwide. More than 171,000 people who have had contact with any of the sick are under observation. There are cases reported in more than 20 countries and regions.
According to Hong Kong officials, the man who died was held in an isolation ward after the virus was confirmed last week. There is a lot of fear that the disease is bound to spread, due to the fact that Hong Kong’s healthcare professionals are on strike, which entered its second day on Tuesday. The health care providers are demanding that Chief Executive Carrie Lam should order the closure of all borders with China. Currently, three crossing points are still open. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China.
“As Carrie Lam refused to close the border, more (deaths) might come . . . We are not threatening the government, we just want to prevent the outbreak,” said Cheng, a 26-year-old nurse who is taking part in the strike. Lam recently denied requests to seal the entire border, on the grounds that the move would be “inadequate, impractical and discriminatory.” In Macau, another autonomous region of China, the chief executive, Ho Iat Seng, asked that all casino operations be stopped for two weeks, paralyzing one of the largest gambling centers in the world.
Japan, the country with the highest number of cases outside China (20 in total), has quarantined a cruise ship carrying over 3,700 people, including passengers and crew. The cruise ship has been denied permission to dock thanks to the fear that the new coronavirus has generated. A man who left the vessel on Saturday in Hong Kong was later on found to be infected with the disease. The ship, Diamond Princess, arrived in the Yokohama port on Monday night.
Symptoms of the Coronavirus
Carriers of the virus generally have symptoms ranging from mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The virus not only spreads from animals to humans but also from person to person. How this happens exactly is unknown. It is likely that this happens through the small droplets that are released during coughing or sneezing or through physical contact.